This Is How Coronavirus Affects The Human Body After Infection

This Is How Coronavirus Affects The Human Body After Infection

It is transmitted the same way as the flu, but once a person gets infected, it can be slower and deadlier.

"Coronavirus" comes from the Latin word corona, which means crown or halo. It refers to the fringe that surrounds some viruses. These viruses have spiky edges that resemble a crown. They are mostly found in animals, but there are seven zoonotic coronaviruses. This means that they can and do jump from animals to humans. When the virus first broke out in China, medical experts were battling against the unknown; as experts knew next to nothing about the virus. Thankfully, with lots of research, that has changed. And we will be explaining just how coronavirus affects the human body of an infected person.

It’s important to know who within the population is at the greatest risk. And as with all viruses, it is the most vulnerable: the young, the elderly and the chronically ill.

In fact, many of the patients who have died in Wuhan, China, had existing conditions including cirrhosis of the liver, hypertension and diabetes, according to the Chinese government health commission.

How Coronavirus Affects The Human Body

  • How does the virus attack the body?
  • What are the symptoms of this deadly virus?
  • Who faces the highest risk of becoming seriously ill or dying?
  • How do you treat coronavirus infection?

Doctors at the Jinyintan Hospital, in Wuhan, have begun providing answers to some of these questions. The Lancet Medical Journal has published a detailed account of how doctors in Wuhan treated the first 99 patients of the new coronavirus. Here's what we now know.

How It Spreads
how coronavirus affects the body

Coronavirus is an air-borne disease, meaning you can catch the virus by breathing it in. But this is after an infected person coughs or sneezes near you. Or you can get the virus when you touch a surface that has the virus on it. For example, if an infected person touches their nose, then touches a door handle; if you touch that door handle, you'll likely get the virus too. Because once the virus is on your hands, it's easy to get into your nose or mouth.

Once it is inside you, coronavirus causes flu symptoms, like a cold, a cough or sore throat, aches, and pains. You may also have a headache and feel lethargic. To top it off, you'll feel feverish. But it can get much worse, in many ways.

This Is How The Coronavirus Ravages Patients' Bodies

how coronavirus affects the body

  • The human body will often use a high fever to help kill a virus. But if the temperature spikes over 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40.5 degrees Celsius, it may cause convulsions and even death.
  • The coronavirus also inflames the lungs, making them harden and be filled with pus. That's pneumonia, and it can be fatal because viral antibiotics are of no use with coronavirus.
  • The infected patient could also develop sepsis. This is when chemicals released by the immune system to fight the virus, cause inflammation all over the body, including vital organs.
How Is It Treated?

There's presently no cure for the virus, and it may take months to create a vaccine. In the hospital, doctors help patients with intravenous fluid and support for their weakening organs. But ultimately, recovery depends on your immune system.

The coronavirus is especially deadly to people with weak immune systems, like the elderly and young children. Officials say many of those who died were already in poor health.

What Makes Coronavirus Different From The Flu?
  • Flu symptoms usually appear quickly, just two or three days after infection. But the coronavirus can incubate for up to 14 days before symptoms appear.
  • The mortality rate for the flu, depending on the strain, ranges from less than 1% to at most 2%. But the last coronavirus MERS killed 1 out of 3 people infected. And this new strain called 2019-nCoV, has killed at least 10% of the people infected; even though the virus is still not contained yet.

Now that you understand how coronavirus affects the human body, you see why it is important to prevent it.

Prevention
wash hands

Unless you have recently been to China or contacted an infected person, you should be okay. But to stay healthy from any kind of virus, try not to touch your nose and your mouth as much as you can. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you wash your hands after coughing and sneezing; or before and after caring for someone who is sick. Also, wash your hands before preparing food and eating.

BBC

Also read: The Effect of Good Sanitation Practices On Public Health

Written by

AyeeSha