COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways., we examine the devastating impact it can have on a sufferer's body.
Q: What does coronavirus do to the body of a sufferer?
A: Some people who catch the virus may have very mild symptoms like a sore throat or a headache. Others may suffer from a fever, cough or trouble breathing. It is mild for eight in ten people who get the infection.
Q: For those who get a serious infection how bad is it?
A: A small proportion of patients will go on to develop severe infection which can damage the lungs or cause pneumonia, a life-threatening condition which causes swelling and fluid build-up in the lungs.
Q: Older people and those with chronic medical conditions appear to have a higher risk of severe illness?
A People of all ages can get coronavirus. However, older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions -such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease are more likely to become severely ill with the virus. People of all ages should follow simple measures to stop viruses like coronavirus spreading. For example washing their hands often with soap and water.
Q: What kind of reports have come from doctors who have treated people with the coronavirus?
A: They say that in those who are severely ill they are seeing a condition that is called acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS. There can be damage to the lungs, which leads to fluid leaking from small blood vessels in the lungs. The fluid collects in the lungs’ air sacs, or alveoli. This makes it difficult for the lungs to transfer oxygen from the air to the blood.
Treatment for ARDS involves supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation, with the goal of getting more oxygen into the blood.There is no specific treatment but doctors said they provide support for the the person through the process.
It allows the body to heal and helps their immune system.
Q:What about organs in the body other than lungs – can they be affected?
A: The lungs are the main organs affected. But in serious cases, the rest of the body can also be impacted.This can happen with any severe infection. This damage to the organs isn’t always directly caused by the infection, but can result from the body’s response to infection.