If all SARS-COV-2 coronaviruses are circulating in the world, assemble in one place, their total mass would be from 0.1 to a hundred kilograms. Scientists of the Weitman Research Institute in Israel came to this conclusion. This is reported in an article published in the Journal Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences. Briefly about scientific work tells the edition of the Science Alert.
First, experts calculated how much about viruses carry each infected. This is an approximate assessment, since different people will have a different viral load at the peak of infection, which depends on the characteristics of the body. The researchers took advantage of the data of previous measurements of the number of virus particles in the Macau-Rhvas organism during the peak of infection in various organs (lungs, almonds, lymph nodes and digestive system), extrapolating the body of human tissues.
The number of viruses is 10-100 billion per contaminated, which corresponds to 1-10 micrograms. Since the total number of infected people, which have not yet been recovered, at any point of time ranged from one million to 10 million, then the total mass of viruses lies somewhere between the weight of the apple and the mass of the child. The mass of one viral particle is about one femtogram (10 per minus of the 15th degree of grams).
In addition, scientists calculated that during the infection of one owner, the virus accumulates from 0.1 to one mutation throughout the genome. This characteristic was obtained on the basis of the data on the frequency of nucleotide substitutions, the number of nucleotides in the SARS-COV-2 genome, as well as the number of virus replications inside the body. Thus, a month, a virus transmitting from man to a person accumulates about three mutations.
The authors of the work compare the effect produced by a small mass of the pathogen, with an explosion of a nuclear bomb, which contains less than a hundred kilograms of the dividing material, but leads to colossal destruction. According to the University of Jones Hopkins, the virus has already infected more than 137 million people and killed more than 3.7 million.