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Current Affairs

Effects of Coronavirus on lungs and breathing

Date: 09 April 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

In the picture still emerging on COVID-19, some trends have been noticeable. when it has killed , the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) has often done so by leading to pneumonia, the eventual cause of death affecting lungs.

 

Background

Pneumonia is a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection of one or both sides of the lungs that causes the air sacs, or alveoli, of the lungs to fill up with fluid or pus.

 

Details

  • Once the virus enters the body, it can cause discomfort when it reaches the air passages on the outside of the lungs. These passages conduct air into and from the lungs.

  • The virus injures the lining of the passageways, and the body responds with an inflammation, which in turn irritates the nerves in the lining. That is when an infected person coughs.

  • Infection can be more severe if the virus goes past the lining of the airways, and reaches the air sacs at the end of the air passages. Called alveoli, these sacs are responsible for the exchange of gas in the lungs.

  • If they get infected, the sacs respond with inflammatory fluids, which fill the air sacs. That is what leads to pneumonia, when the lungs’ ability to transfer oxygen is impaired, and the infected person has difficulty breathing. When a person cannot inhale enough oxygen and exhale enough carbon dioxide, pneumonia can lead to death.

  • The least serious patients will show no symptoms after catching the virus. Some others will get an infection in the upper respiratory tract, at the lining of the lungs as described, and will develop a cough, may also have a fever, and will be potential carriers of the virus.

  • The asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic groups are relatively small compared to those with somewhat more severe symptoms, resembling those we associate with a flu. 

  • Pneumonia as a result of COVID-19 is viral pneumonia, which means it cannot be treated with antibiotics. In severe cases, ventilator support may be needed to ensure sufficient oxygen circulation in the body.