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The proper attitude toward viral epidemics

Prof. Dr. Hussein Abdulkadhim

Ass. prof. Dr. Sahar A. Majeed

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics


Viral infection is the invasion and multiplication of the non-commensal virus in the body (it’s an indicator of  virulence or a decreased body immunity)

Viral epidemic is the spread of the virus to community (epidemic is an indicator of ability to spread)

Unlike bacteria, viruses had very slow autonomic drift and shift genetic polymorphism due to their lack of nucleoproteins and plasmids that catalyze genetic variation. The variation in virulence and spread proteins requires low host immunity. This fact is applicable on HIV since it primarily attacks lymphocytes that are representative for the adaptive immunity. Contact with native viral reservoirs don’t necessarily result in disease or epidemic unless the intermediate animal or human host is immunocompromised.

In case of SAR nCOV 2 (COVID 19), the virus retained the mild virulence proteins of betacoronavirus, however the change was in its spikes glycoprotein GP (upto 20 genetic diversity from wild Bat SL virion spike GP. Those mutant phenotypes enhanced the ability of SAR nCov2 to spread in an epidemic, however its severity was restricted for individuals with extreme ages, smokers, HIV, cancer and patients with immunosuppressive therapy.

The origin of COVID 19 (SAR nCov2) was not scientifically attributed to transmission from bat, snake through pangolin to human due to several points.

The spread map referred to two main map focuses that are independent on presence of such animals.

Bat and pangolin are lifelong contact with human since long ages.

The map spread of buying these animals does not fully interpret the unspread of SAR nCov 2 to the buyers locations.

The community panic exaggerates the infodemic of the mild virulence nature of the infections and most of asserting articles were related to politicians,  managers or even epidemiologists and virologists who had no experience with the politics of the proper attitudes toward such epidemics.

So many low-income nations with crowded populations and long time contacts with different types of animals like Indian, African and South American societies didn’t record viral epidemics that was proportional with their opportunity to get higher viral epidemic rates.

The only two occasions when specifically viral epidemic occurs are either a high ratio of population  with immunocompromisation as what had been noticed after World War I for Spain flu or in case of lab modified viral genome. otherwise, poor and crowded communities and high animal contact rates may predispose for bacterial or parasitic epidemics other than viral epidemics.

The researcher can conclude the following proper impression and practical attitude toward any viral epidemic especially SAR nCov 2 (COVID 19).

  1. Nothing calls for anxiety toward such epidemic.According to clinical evidences, COVID 19 is a usual infection with extended ability to spread. People have to commit with only news of official scientific databases and channels to avoid irrational panic and infodemics.
  2. Avoid conditions that predispose to the spread of viral infections which are the crowded places, contacts with patients with signs of respiratory respiratory infection, changes in weather conditions like extreme cold and winds, avoid repeated water baths and hair wetting,heavy sweating, cumbersome duties and insomnia. On the other hand the following measures are to be taken like frequent hand washing, mask use, keep your body temperature stable, try to rest for few days
  3. The best nutrition and immunity enhancing measures are to encourage red meat meals (1-2 servings about 150-200 g) daily for seven days, milk (200 ml/day), nuts (100 g/day), vegetables (300-500 g/day), fruits (300-500 g/day), water (2-2.5 L/day)

Another supportive measures that had been verified by clinical studies include daily intake of 5000 IU/day of vitamin D3 expected to decrease viral spread.

  1. Therapeutics measures for patients with any acute respiratory infection of viral origin include paracetamol, diclofenac on full stomach, decongestant phenylphrine plus diphenhydramine and decongestant terpenoids with good fluid intake (1-2 liters more than RDA) in addition to the rest for few days. A close monitoring of daily temprature, blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate sometimes needed for acutely ill patients.

In severe respiratory infections or complicated with signs and lab findings indicating bacterial infections then hospitalization and IV fluids and antibiotics are indicated. Pharyngeal swab for culture, sensitivity and for COVID 19 antigen test in suspected infections and epidemic.

  1. In case of definite identification of COVID 19 measures are taken to isolate the patient and monitoring of the contacts for 1-2 weeks.

In its common form COVID 19 causes a mild URI and need for just  supportive interventions and preventive measures.

In uncommon cases especially  vulnerable individuals COVID 19 may cause pneumonia, renal disorders or multiple organ damage as it is the condition with any respiratory infection.

Those severe COVID 19 patients need complete isolation, rehydration, antipyritics, antibiotics. Trial studies suggested newly repurposed drugs that showed improved findings and clinical outcomes.

Of these drugs, remdesivir, chloroquine, ritonavir, terbinafine and levamizole. Immunostimulants such as Interferon were also therapeutic option.

From the overall impression about COVID 19 the following facts are concluded

  1. The human society needs for continuous education and guidance toward the proper behavior since the advances in communication technologies, and the advances in modern lifestyle didn’t ensure safey of this society from irrational panic situations that recalled a similarity with middle age panics.
  2. Human health problems and issues are increasing with time and are going not parallel with advances in other life services rather the therapeutic measures are still very poor and reminding us the old decades.
  3. Some of the labs biotechnologies may be so risky to the future of human health.

Figure (1) The initiation and distribution of COVID 19


Figure (2) The Pangolin trade map


Figure (3) The similarity and diversity of genome of COVID 19 and SL


Reference websites





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