VB : Virus

Video Broadcast : #166
January 1, 2021


  • Virus is a Pathogen
    Other Pathogens : Bacteria, Fungi, Worm …
    Studied in Microbiology
  • RNA (Type of nucleic acid with a single strand)
    Studied in Genetics
  • Virus may be Symbiotic or Parasitic
    Not all viruses are harmful
  • Need a host cell to multiply
  • Methods of transmission
    via animals and insects
    (some) human-to-human
    bodily contact
    air borne (time and distance may vary)
  • May cause damage to cells and organs
  • May mutate
    e.g. new flu shots every year


  • Shaped like a Corona (“Crown” of Sun)
  • Human Coronavirus found around 1955
  • Different kinds of impact : from mild to severe (deadly)
  • Common cold (mildest)
  • Flu (may cause aches and pains)
  • SARS : Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (mortality rate around 9%)
  • MERS : Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (mortality rate around 35%)
  • HIV (Weaken immune system)


  • Health Organizations agreed to not to use names attributing “place of origin”
  • COVID-19 stands for COrona VIrus Disease (found in) 2019
  • The disease is caused by the virus named SARS-Cov-2
  • The death rate (currently around 2 to 3%) is less than that of SARS and MERS, but the infection rate is higher (partly because the patients may not show symptoms of the disease and unknowingly act as “carriers”)
  • New strains were found in December 2020


  • The initial “outbreak” was not reported factually to the world.
  • Some organizations and groups generated myths (e.g. It’s just another brand of Flu)
    and unreliable treatment (e.g. take disinfectants).
  • The misinformation and disinformation may have caused undesirable deaths.
  • The deadly impact was downplayed
    e.g. reports say NO human-to-human transmission
    A few said that the disease would go away naturally soon!
  • Some countries were not prepared
    e.g. lack of PPE for doctors and nurses in UK (which was then focusing on Brexit rather than the pandemic)
  • Dr. Peter Tun (MRCP, Former Associate Dean of Oxford University) was an early victim. He reported about lack of PPE in his ward, but was ignored due to the “lax” HHE guidelines at the time. He succumbed to COVID-19 on April 13, 2020. Ultimately, his death caused a “review” for better “policies” to benefit other doctors and nurses. He would become the first to receive FRCP posthumously form the Royal College of Physicians,
  • It took a long time to figure out the symptoms.
  • The first round of vaccinations for COVID-19 has been completed in UK, USA and Canada.
  • Tests are being conducted to see if the vaccines are effective for the newer strains.
  • Based on the priority (e.g. Tiers) and logistics, many will have to wait for their turn.

Categories: Broadcasts, Notes

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