Virus Hunter Dr. Peter Piot, the Head of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He Co-Discovered One of the World’s Infectious Diseases, Ebola and This Year, Became Ill with Covid-19.

September 8, 2020
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It behaves unlike any other virus.

  • Piot continues to recover after 5 months of battling the disease brought on by SARS-COV-2. He says of the new coronavirus, ““We underestimated it.”

“It behaves unlike any other virus. It spreads through our respiratory system because there are receptors in our noses and throats—but then it goes through your entire body: blood vessels, the heart, every organ could be targeted. It’s crazy.”

  • 71-year-old Piot was featured in a wide-ranging Wall Street Journal article that detailed what researchers know about the new coronavirus.

Highlights include the following:

  • All told, there are more viruses than stars in the known universe. Trillions upon trillions of viruses float in the air and ride on the clouds. Scientists at the University of British Columbia estimate that 800 million viruses rain onto every square meter (10 square feet) of the planet every day.
  • At least 320,000 different viruses infect mammals. There are 219 virus species that are known to be able to infect humans. One researcher found more than a hundred different viruses living inside human lungs. At least six other types of coronavirus are known to infect humans. Several cause the common cold.
  • When researchers at the University of California, San Francisco tested people for SARS-CoV-2 in San Francisco’s Mission District, 53% of those infected hadn’t shown any overt ill effects.
  • By the end of July, nearly 340,000 children in the U.S. had tested positive for Covid-19, or 8.8% of all reported cases. No one is sure yet how readily children transmit the virus or whether they are highly contagious when they show no symptoms.
  • “The immune system in people is as diverse as beauty, height, intelligence and any other human feature,” said molecular immunologist Michel Nussenzweig at Rockefeller University in New York. “Not everybody is the same in their ability to fight infection.”
  • “The virus changes on a fairly clockwork basis,” said computational biologist Michael Zody at the genome center. “Every two weeks or so, it seems that the virus picks up a new mutation.That adds up to about 25 random changes a year, much less than the seasonal flu, which has a mutation rate of almost 50 mutations a year. Most of the changes in the coronavirus don’t make any difference now. In time, it is possible that some might make it easier to transmit from person to person or become deadlier.

‘Really Diabolical’: Inside the Coronavirus That Outsmarted Science: READ IT HERE

by Jenna Lee,