Many things are not known about coronavirus, but we know for sure how devastating it can be to the human body. It is similar to other viruses transmitted from animals to humans, such as SARS and MERS.
The current coronavirus death rate is one fifth lower than that of SARS, but it is spreading faster than it. Coronavirus is so much like the SARS genetic that it is also called its successor.
The extent to which the infection can spread can not be sure, but Hong Kong’s leading epidemiologist Gabriel Leung recently warned that as much as 60% of the world’s population could be infected if the virus was not curbed. According to the clinical details report for the first 72,314 patients diagnosed with the virus, developed by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.3 percent of patients died after being infected with coronavirus, which means it is currently 23 times as lethal. seasonal flu. Severe health and mortality rates do not exceed any age group, except for children younger than 9 years.
What actually happens to the human body in the fight against coronavirus? Let’s look from organ to organ.
Lungs: Zero point
In most cases the disease begins and ends in the lungs because, like the flu, coronaviruses are respiratory diseases. The infection is transmitted by coughing or sneezing of infected persons. The symptoms are initially similar to the flu: the patient feels fever and cough. The condition can then worsen and lead to pneumonia or worse.
The disease is caused by the coronavirus attacking the lung cells very quickly. There are two types of such cells: those that create mucus and those that have fibers that help clear the airways. The mucus protects the lungs from pathogens and prevents drying of the lungs, while fiber cells remove waste like pollen or viruses. Like SARS, coronavirus is assumed to attack precisely those cells, causing waste and particles to enter the lungs.
Due to the presence of the viral uninvited guest, our immune system activates and causes inflammation that is usually localized in one area. However, it can be an overwhelming response to viral infection organisms, so our immune system may begin to destroy everything in front of it, even healthy tissue.
This is where we enter the final phase. The devastation of the lungs continues, which can have a fatal outcome. If the patient survives, permanent damage is possible. For example, many survivors of SARS have been treated with bee-like lungs, and this has been observed in those with coronavirus. At this stage patients breathe with the help of apparatus.
Damage, or lung piercing, is likely due to an overreaction to our immune system, causing scarring and the lungs becoming harder.
Because of inflammation, the membranes between the alveoli and the blood vessels become more permeable and the lungs can be filled with fluid. In severe inflammation, the lungs are filled with fluid, so the patient cannot breathe and often dies.
Stomach: Entry into the body
Some patients have diarrhea and abdominal pain, but there is no data yet on whether gastrointestinal symptoms are present in the event of this infection. If you are wondering what airway disease has to do with the stomach and the intestines, the answer lies in the nature of each virus to bind to the proteins that humans bring into the body. Thus, for viruses, the stomach is a sure way to enter the human body.
It is not known whether coronavirus, such as SARS and MERS, can penetrate the colon and small intestine and cause severe diarrhea. According to data from two recent studies, coronavirus has also been detected in infected stool specimens and it is necessary to examine whether the infection can be transmitted by this route.
After the aforementioned overexpression of the immune system infection, other systems in the human body may be affected by coronavirus. In rare cases, patients suffered heart attacks as well as acute kidney damage. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York, believes a so-called “cytokine storm” occurs in the event of a coronavirus infection in the bloodstream.
Cytokines are proteins that alert the immune system at the site of infection to destroy infected tissue and save the rest of the body. The problem is that coronavirus causes an overactive response to the immune system, which then attacks healthy tissue in addition to infected cells.
In fact, there is internal bleeding, as Rasmussen explains. In some of the most severe cases, more organs stop working after the cytokine and reduced oxygen uptake capacity in the body. Scientists want to find out what link chronic illnesses, such as heart problems or diabetes, to the complications caused by the virus.
Liver: Collateral Damage
Viruses that are transmitted from animals to humans, which is the case with coronavirus, often infect the liver. The liver produces an enzyme that speeds up the chemical processes in our body. In a healthy organism, the liver cells are constantly dying and releasing enzymes into the bloodstream.
The problem occurs when enzymes flood the bloodstream, which is common in patients with SARS and MERS. Scientists aren’t quite sure how the respiratory viruses behave in the liver. They are likely to infect it directly or cause serious inflammation in response to the immune system infection.
The cessation of liver function in the case of the SARS virus was not a cause of death for any patient. It is more common for a patient to have a systemic infection and to have problems with the lungs and kidneys, in addition to the liver.
Kidney: Everything is connected
Recent studies have shown that coronavirus can also cause kidney damage. Although rare, it is a deadly consequence. Just like the liver, our kidneys are tasked with purifying the blood. The tubules in them are susceptible to inflammation, as blood is filtered through the kidneys, the duct cells can trap the virus, leading to transient or easier damage. If the virus breaks down the cells and begins to multiply, damage to the ducts becomes life-threatening.
The phytochemical storm, already mentioned, can also cause the kidney to stop working. It is important to note that there is no evidence that viruses such as SARS, and thus coronavirus, can multiply in the kidneys.
Kidney failure can sometimes be caused by antibiotics, the death of other organs, and even if the patient is too long on respirators.
Pregnancy and coronavirus
Wuhan doctors recently reported two newborns who were tested to be infected with the virus. One of them became infected only 30 hours after birth. However, there is no evidence that it is a mother-to-child transmission of the infection. There are different ways a child can become infected, such as giving birth in a hospital full of infected patients, Rasmussen said.
In addition, the results of a recent study provide preliminary evidence that supports that coronavirus cannot be transmitted from mother to child. Experts monitored nine Wuhan women who had coronavirus-associated lung inflammation. Although some have had complications during childbirth, there is no evidence that a child was born infected.
Although the study does not exclude the possibility of mother-to-child transmission of the infection in the womb, it states that it is necessary to avoid spreading unconfirmed assumptions about the effect of coronavirus.