Corona ExtrA

Mag. Dr. phil. Dr. med. Katharina Sabernig

 The purpose of this website is to visualize medical content and thereby promote understanding of the current situation. It is hoped that the form of presentation will help to reduce emotions such as fear, rejection or aggression and to find a more sensuous access to the topic.

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3820 Letters: 

Script of Delta and Omicron

Colorful coils show the genetic blueprint of the spike protein in the Corona Virus. The four colours -- yellow, orange, blue and green -- correspond to the different individual nucleotides (bases). The eight mutations of the Delta variant and the deletion (so-called "lost letters" with six bases) are marked in pink, manifold changes of the sequence of the Omicron variant presented in Aqua. The knitwork is based on publication by Austrian virologist Andreas Bergthaler and his team on the blueprint with its 3820 bases and the respective variants (cf.: Delta: "EPI_ISL_7466581, GISAID" und für Omicron: "EPI_ISL_7285846, GISAID"). 

Resist the Virus

 What you see are important interior structures of the human body such as lung, aorta, kidneys and adrenal glands of a person invaded by the corona virus. The two people shown in the center symbolize internal and external help to overcome the disease. The left figure represents self-healing power by being able to produce antibodies. The person stands firmly on the "roof" of the kidneys. 

 The right figure, located where we would imagine the heart, represents a live-saving health professional and the treatment he or she provides, including preventive vaccination. The virus is eliminated by various forms of free-fluctuating types of antibodies (yellow-red) and phagocytes (green), while red blood cells transport the oxygen desperately needed. 

ICU Exhaustion

Working staff in intensive care units have been working to exhaustion for months.


If the condition cannot be stabilised in the intensive care unit, the only last resort is often extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). After extensive care, many people can survive the disease thanks to this therapy. Intensive care units are at the limits of their capacity and the staff at the limit of their personal resources. The patient is placed in a prone position.



Diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and, in particular, loss of gustatory sense are other frequently observed non-specific symptoms. 


Clinical manifestations of CoViD 19 are strokes, heart attacks and pulmonary embolism. Venous and arterial thromboses are also observed.



Acute kidney failure, urinary urgency and inflammation of the testis or ovaries can also occur with SARS-CoV 2 infection. 

ClUster, Transmission and immunity

In order to explain how infections spread, German virologist Christian Drosten once cited a study on the spread of plague in the gerbil in one of his popular podcasts on September 9, 2020. Infection among these burrowing rodents of the steppe typically takes the form of clusters. The image was inspired by the example as well as the transmission via aerosols and policy of closing the borders. Orange spots symbolize different species of healthy individuals, red spots stand for infected rodents or aerosols. The white population with a blue spot present an endemic appearance of plague. The green lines depict cave systems.

A Syringe as if it were the rod of Asclepius


Everyone is waiting for a safe vaccine. Full of expectation, a snake winds its way around a syringe as if it were the rod of Asclepius. Will a new drug render harmless the virus at the centre of the picture, which has trapped the entire globe in a pandemic? On the left a biomedical doctor relies on antibodies hovering over him like a speech bubble. Stethoscope, ECG and computer-assisted sequencing are his instruments. On the right is a traditional doctor. He tries to classify the new disease into classical interpretations of humoural theory, symbolised by the tree of physiology and pathology in Tibetan medicine above him. A Chinese doctor would perhaps recommend liquorice root, red sage or mandarin orange peel to recover from a mild course of disease. Everywhere the virus can infect us, but for all the difference in access and medical training, masks and protective clothing are mandatory for all.

Spreading of aerosols within one hour

in silence, while talking and shouting or singing

This series illustrates the dispersion of aerosols in space, depending on both time and behaviour. The scale of the emission and associated exposure is critically dependent on its duration and on what you are doing.

Spreading and perception of aerosols with or without masks:

Tree of Transmission

Tree of transmission

The picture shows transmission chains over time up to the onset of symptoms or positive test results, marked by a red dot. One colour unit corresponds to one day. Starting from a single case, three cases appear in this tree after three days, one of which causes seven more cases. As a result, 36 cases became known after only three weeks.



Immune response to a virus is a cooperation of specific and non-specific defence mechanisms. Both corpuscular factors (consisting of whole cells) and humoral factors (non-cellular compounds present in body fluids) are involved. As soon as the antigen to be fought – virus or bacterium – meets the B-lymphocyte presented in light blue in the centre of the picture, this corpuscular blood component with its purple cell nucleus produces prototypes of an immunoglobulin. These symmetrical Y-shaped molecules are the basis of the specific humoral defence. They consist of two long (yellow) and two short (red) peptide chains and serve as prototype components for various immunoglobulins. The pentameric immunoglobulins are used for the initial immunisation. However, these large five-part early antibodies, also known as IgM, quickly decrease in concentration. The dimeric immunoglobulins, also known as IgA or secretory antibodies which are mainly found in secretions, are also only temporarily active. The monomeric immunoglobulins are first delayed, but are then produced in high concentrations. These so-called IgG become decisive in the defence against a possible later secondary infection. Two immune complex reactions are shown in the lower right half of the picture. The two somewhat smaller viruses are kept in check by a bipartite IgA. The slightly larger virus is neutralised by two simple IgG. The defence reaction shown so far corresponds to the situation approximately two or three weeks after infection. The pale green macrophage positioned in the upper left corner of the picture is actually unspecifically disposed as a phagocyte. It is attracted by chemotactic factors and supports the immune defence by incorporating the virus, then digesting it and excreting it as a harmless residual body. This process is called exocytosis, indicated on the right edge of the phagocyte.

For many, it feels as if an asteroid has struck from nowhere in the form of the highly infectious SARS-COV-2.

Chaos in the body