Sars-CoV-2: Illustrated Story of a Virus

Scientific illustrations by Sara Filippi Plotegher

Sars-CoV-2 (2021)MUSE - The Science Museum

NAME: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2

How does it look? Where does the coronavirus name come from? What weapons does the virus possess? We already know a lot about it.

Genetic profile and first identification

RNA composed of a single strand of 30,000 bases. 1. december 2019 - fish market in Wuhan - China


Spike protein (S protein). This protein binds to specific receptors on the host cell, through which it enters the cell... like a key in a lock!

Crimes committed

Agent of Covid-19 disease

Curriculum vitae (2021)MUSE - The Science Museum

Curriculum vitae

In this illustration table is represented the history of coronavirus spread and its "evolutionary skills" and its ability to replicate and to continue to spread.


It's assumed that Sars-CoV-2 came from China, but how it spread, we can only imagine...


Variants of Sars-CoV-2 are also developing, we will learn about their characteristics and effect on people over time

The Disease (2021)MUSE - The Science Museum

The Disease

We know well the prominent aspects of the COVID-19 illness: the way the virus infects our cells, which symptoms occur and why some people can lose their sense of smell.

How does the infection happen?

The virus uses cell to reproduce damaging the cell in the process

Affected organs

Lungs, kidneys, liver, hearth, brain, intestines

Scientist (2021)MUSE - The Science Museum

I'm doing my part, too - Scientist

Scientists quickly found the most effective solutions to contain the infections and prevent and treat the disease. Let’s see how vaccines  –the only tool ever invented to produce acquired immunity to a particular pathogen– work!


They cause an immune response and creates a memory of immunity, so the body is ready to respond to future infections

Herd immunity

Is the ability of a group to resist an infection because a large percentage of the group has immunity

Doctor (2021)MUSE - The Science Museum

I'm doing my part, too - Doctor

Doctors are also the key players in the central section of this story. They are involved in managing this global emergency, saving many lives and continuing to take care of many patients at the hospital but also at home.

Are vaccines safe?

As with any drug, vaccines can also have undesired side effects, which are nevertheless rarer than complications due to the disease

In-hospital care? Yes, but also at home!

Politician (2021)MUSE - The Science Museum

I'm doing my part, too - Politician

The pandemic has demonstrated that politics holds great responsibility for people's lives. The political decisions may seem to conflict with human freedom and rights but, in this global emergency, we are all called upon to protect our health and the health of people around us

Politic always implies biopolitic

Its purpose is to discipline bodies and regulate populations. Political choices affect our freedoms, rights and duties, and also our access to a life that is healthy and full of meaning

Communicator (2021)MUSE - The Science Museum

I'm doing my part, too - Communicator

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a great desire to understand and learn more. Nevertheless, the need to inform and communicate generated an ‘infodemic’. What principles should communication be based on? 


How do you get informed?

The Coronavirus has made us undestand that (2021)MUSE - The Science Museum

The Coronavirus has made us understand that

The appearance of the COVID-19 disease has uncovered what we already knew but did not want to face: the urgency of directing efforts towards more sustainable and resilient models of society and development.


Time has already run out

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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