All Things COVID

COVID Testing 

From the start COVID was a unique virus that we had never seen before.  As we do with all things new, in order to get a handle on it, we jump to act with what we do know.

Nasopharyngeal method of specimen collection is a method used to detect Influenza.  Influenza typically presents with congestion symptoms.  While someone has active sinus congestion, it is likely the clinician can get a good sample to test to check for Influenza.  It is not great for early detection for any virus due to the fact that congestion is typically the body's way of getting rid of viruses and toxins.  That means that it is the virus exiting the body.

Oral/Saliva method of specimen collection is the preferred method of testing for COVID in particular due to the incubation pattern of the virus.  COVID enters the body generally through the oral cavity from droplets that directly enter into the oral cavity from someone with an active infection.  Saliva testing allows medical professionals to go right to the source of the virus in order to detect the virus.  This method also allows medical professionals a higher chance of early detection since it's possible to detect while the virus is still incubating and before it infects the human.

False Positive is a term newly coined to apply to Nasal testing for COVID.  Since most people being tested regularly without congestion and the invasiveness of the test (not to mention those clinicians are way over zealous and truly injure the patient while scraping for a sample) the test is highly likely to be contaminated.  Contaminants include (but not limited to) blood, skin cells, pulling out and putting back in, etc.  It can also apply to the fact that the machines continue to be readjusted till we find exactly what we are looking for.

RVP is a test that HCL utilizes for anyone that has any symptoms.  For this test specimen is still collected through the oral cavity and then run through multiple PCR cycles to rule out all viruses.

PCR is a machine used to conduct the test.  In order to detect a particular virus, the machine must run for certain time frames for each virus.  Therefore, Rapid PCR does not exist.  

Understanding Viruses
& Immunity

A virus is a parasite that enters the human body typically through exposed mucus membranes.  A virus can only be passed on when alive.

Matching receptors is important for the initial process of incubation to occur.  Viruses have outer shell receptors that we call spike protein.  Human cells also have receptors on their outer shell of the cell.  Those receptors act like puzzle pieces.  They must link together to create a bridge for the viral RNA to enter the human cell.  If the receptors don't link up the viral RNA cannot enter the human cell and will flush out of the body.

Once the virus attached to the human cell and sends in the VRNA it starts to incubate.  Incubation is when the virus parasites off the human cell and grows.  During this process the virus at one point sends out a fog that has baby virus in it.  

The blood that circulates through the system carries white blood cells which is our immunity.  T cells see something isn't right and they jump off the blood train to flag the cell that seems "off".  They are not viral specific.  This jump starts the immunity process.  T cells call the B cells and the rest of the immune system to start getting to work.  In the process of fighting the virus they create a playbook of sorts that will be passed down for many generations of cells.  If the immune system acts quickly then the virus never gets out of incubation.  If the immune system takes longer then the virus needs to incubate, the human will start to feel sick as the virus outgrows the human cell and infects the body.  For those that are immunocompromised (a medical diagnosis that should not be assumed just because of other factors) the immune system does not work fast enough.

Please note:  We lose 30 billion cells a day.  Our bone marrow keeps replacing those cells armed with the updated playbook.  When someone has had a virus before they cannot be infected again with the same virus.

Virus spike protein can vary but only until the VRNA mutates are we concerned about the virus being a threat again.  Since the immune system kills the virus so quickly, someone cannot infect others while they have immunity.

Herd immunity is when enough people have immunity so the virus doesn't survive to infect others.