The coronavirus family has been known for years and is made up of many different types of viruses.
For example, the common flu, which very often affects us all, is generated by a coronavirus, as well as influenza and many other respiratory diseases.
The name coronavirus derives from the physical appearance of the virus, which has many spikes around its central nucleus.
These spikes are responsible for the penetration of the virus into the attacked cells.
The coronavirus nucleus contains proteins and Ribo-Nucleic Acid (RNA), which is the one that replicates inside the infected cells, generating the consequent diseases.
The coronavirus core is protected by a membrane composed predominantly of lipids (fat), which is the virus' weak point.
Graphical representation of a coronavirus
Credit for the image : Scientific Animations - Licence : Creative Commons
In fact, soaps, alcohol and disinfecting substances work by dissolving the fats in this membrane, leaving the nucleus unprotected.
Once the membrane is "opened", the virus spikes are already loose and its penetration activity is without effect.
By breaking down the membrane, disinfecting substances enter the nucleus and chemically attack proteins and RNA, transforming them into inert material and blocking their reproductive capacity. In this way the virus remains completely disabled.
The coronavirus responsible for the current pandemic is identified by the acronym SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - CoronaVirus 2) and the disease it generates is called CoviD-19 (Coronavirus Desease - 2019).
There is still no preventive vaccine or cure for CoviD-19. All over the world, efforts are being made to have effective remedies in the shortest possible time.
Related Links :
Questions and answers about coronavirus and Covid-19
Orthocoronavirinae - Wikipedia
Coronavirus - Covid-19
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - National Institutes of Health