Coronavirus hijacks your body cells and lives off them

What you need to know:

  • The virus particles have spiked proteins sticking out from their surfaces, and these spikes hook onto cell membranes, allowing the virus’s genetic material to enter the human cell.

  • That genetic material proceeds to hijack the metabolism of the cell and say, in effect, ‘Don’t do your usual job. Your job now is to help me multiply and make the virus’

As cases of Covid-19 proliferate around the world and governments take extraordinary measures to limit the spread, there is still a lot of confusion about what exactly the virus does to people’s bodies. The symptoms – fever, cough, shortness of breath – can signal any number of illnesses, from flu to strep to the common cold. Here is what medical experts and researchers have learned so far about the progression of the infection caused by this new coronavirus – and what they still don’t know.

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