Coronavirus is basically a non- living structure when outside a host cell; RNA surrounded by protein cover and this entire structure is surrounded by lipids or fat and protein spikes. In nutshell a concentric ball of outermost lipid+ protein layer and inner ball of protein +RNA. Therefore, outside a host, It is just a combination of chemicals made of protein, lipid and nucleic acid with enzymes. To denature the coronavirus, its protein, and/or lipid are to be destroyed.
How to do deactivate a virus when it is outside a host? Looking into the pure chemistry of virus following are the effective ways with their mode of actions to understand it better-
1. Use alcohol (IPA or Ethanol) to sanitise hands and surface but it should be equal to or more than 70% strength. This strength keeps alcohol to stay on surface for the time required to denature protein structure on viral envelop which is derived from host cell membrane. Less than 50% alcohol is not very useful so whiskey, rum etc. for cleaning of hand is not a good idea to deal with coronavirus situation.
2. Use of soap to wash your hand and detergents for surface cleaning is very effective since surfactants destroys lipid structure in coronavirus envelop.
3. Sanitising floor/ mobile phones/ laptop with BKC/glutaraldehyde based cleaners can help since these act against Lipids and proteins very effectively. Peroxides are also effective since they generate radicals that destroys even nucleic acid of virus so chose according to surface and availability.
Also, from immunology perspective-
My experience from Animal Nutrition area helped to think seriously on mode of infection of viruses and the beneficial effects of probiotics in activating preliminary immune response in the body to fight against viruses.
1. Consuming some curd or butter milk or any probiotic drink will be very effective since microbes in these probiotic drink can act as foreign particles in the body and elicit immune response and keep the body ready to fight any infection including viruses. This is a common practice in poultry industry to help them fight against infections.
2. Consuming vitamin C in any form will help since this is one of the immune enhancing molecule and easily available. Consume moderately every day.
3. Drinking a lot of water i.e. 7 to 8 litres a day (Luke warm better) will definitely help since infectious agents (virus and Bactria) has tough challenges to entre in fully turgid host cells.
Social distancing is a way to minimize close contact with others in the community and include: quarantine and self-isolation at the individual level as well as other community based approaches.
Conspiracy theory of whether COVID 19 (‘Co’rona’vi’rus ‘D’isease 20’19’) is self-evolved or man-made, surely the chemical structure of virus can be destroyed simply using simple chemical reactions. Please take necessary precautions fully and maintain social distance.
Amit Bhattacharya(Animal Nutrition and Microbial Control , DuPont)
Phd(Microbiology) Institute Of Microbial Technology (2003- 2009)