See how coronavirus attacks the human body: There are already over 118,000 cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide and over 4,200 deaths (at the time of writing) and medical experts warn of a potential for widespread community transmission at the local level. They suggest that Americans should get ready for a “significant interruption of their lives” from this disease transmission. At least 28 people in the US have died as an outcome of Covid-19, with a total of 423 cases reported from coast to coast. (At the time of writing)
How Does Coronavirus (COVID-19) Attack The Human Body?
There is still a lot to be discovered about how the coronavirus (COVID-19), the respiratory illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, attacks the human body. Early last month, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention published clinical details on the first 72,000 patients diagnosed through February 11, 2020.
Coronavirus is “similar to but distinct from” severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), allowing scientists to use what is known about SARS to inform knowledge about novel coronavirus. Just like the flu, coronavirus begins in the lungs and spreads via water droplets when a person sneezes or coughs. (coronavirus may also spread through poop but further research is still needed.) It’s been reported that SARS attacked the body in three phases:
- Viral replication,
- Immune hyperactivity,
- Pulmonary destruction, which appears to be similar to how coronavirus attacks.
Early research suggests that coronavirus replicates efficiently in the upper respiratory tract. Infected people produce a large quantity of the virus at the beginning of the infection and new research revealed the incubation period of the infection is 5.1 days, where people infected do not have any symptoms, which allows them to carry on as normal and contribute to the spread of the virus. COVID-19 presents in three phases of infection: It starts with mild illness and upper respiratory tract symptoms, followed by non life threatening pneumonia. After just about a week, severe pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome can progress rapidly and sometimes require life support.
When infected, the body triggers a cytokine response whereby immune cells attack the virus. In some cases and for unknown reasons, the virus may trigger an overreactive response from the immune system, which can further dampen recovery efforts.
What are the symptoms?
Experts say that the most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some people may have aches and pains, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion or diarrhea that are usually mild and begin gradually. Some patients who are infected do not develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell, while around 80 percent of people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Roughly 1 out of 5 people who get coronavirus (COVID-19) becomes seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness, medical experts warn.
Clinical management guidelines presently advise that a patient to be released from the hospital after two consecutive negative results at least 24 hours apart. Currently, there is a duration of roughly 20 days between the ones of symptoms and full recovery, however, experts require more epidemiological information to identify whether a person is immune following infection.
Experts say the best protection against COVID-19 are non-pharmaceutical interventions, preventative steps suc as:
- Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue,
- Washing hands thoroughly,
- Disinfecting surfaces around the home and workspace,
- Avoiding contact with people who are known to be sick.
People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention and stay home unless told otherwise.