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What Happens When You are Infected with Coronavirus

Published On 04 Jun 2020 By Yamini Sharma

The new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is of the deadliest pandemics which the world is going through. The absence of a cure/vaccine for COVID-19 has made the situation even more difficult. The best resolution available at the moment for combating the pandemic is taking precautions such as social distancing, proper hand hygiene, etc. 

In these difficult times, it is very important to know the symptoms caused by the novel coronavirus. If you develop any of these symptoms immediately contact health authorities or seek required medical help. The novel coronavirus which emerged in China late last year causes respiratory illnesses in humans, ranging from the common cold to more severe health problems. 

Common Symptoms of by COVID-19

The coronavirus enters a healthy human body via droplets released by a person while he/she sneezes or coughs. The virus can survive on different surfaces for different time periods and can enter the body of a healthy person when they touch these surfaces before touching their nose, eyes or mouth. After entering the human body, the virus moves to the mucous membranes in the throat, generally causing the following symptoms within 2 to 14 days. The common symptoms observed in people infected with COVID-19 are as follows:

  •  Cough
  •  Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  •  Fatigue
  •  Chills, sometimes with shaking
  •  Headache, body aches
  •  Sore throat
  •  Loss of taste or smell
  •  Nausea
  • Diarrhea

It’s important to note that some people do not show any symptoms even after getting infected with the virus. They remain asymptomatic. In such a case, the virus may spread in the respiratory tract and can cause a range of other symptoms depending on the immune system’s condition.

How COVID-19 Affects the Human Body

If we go by the report of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), people start complaining of ‘shortness of breath’ within 5 days of the onset of their symptoms. And in general, severe breathing trouble can be observed in about 8 days. It happens because the coronavirus moves down the respiratory tract through the airway i.e. from mouth, nose, throat to the lungs. 

And since our airways have more ACE2 receptors (two forms of a protein called angiotensin to keep blood pressure stable, among other things) than the rest of our respiratory tract, COVID-19 is more likely to go deeper. 

When coronavirus reaches the lungs, the lungs become inflamed and you start having difficulty in breathing. This can further cause pneumonia (a type of infection of the tiny air sacs in our lungs where your blood exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide).

In some cases, the symptoms of COVID-19 end with a cough and fever. But in other cases, the infection gets more severe and patients complain about dyspnea (severe case of shortness of breath) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) a few days later. ARDS causes:

    • Rapid breathing
    • A fast heart rate
    • Dizziness
    • Sweating
    • Damages of tissues and blood cells
    • Impossible for you to breathe
    • Blood fails to supply organs with enough oxygen to survive
   
This further leads to kidneys, lungs, and liver failure
      
Health Recovery 

Statistics suggest the recovery time for patients with mild symptoms is about two weeks. However, those having severe or critical effects of COVID-19 take between three and six weeks to recover.  The good news is that not every coronavirus patient succumbs to death. The coronavirus recovery rate stands at 41.61% as on May 26, 2020, according to Health Ministry data.

Till the time, we do not find a vaccine for the COVID-19, please follow the guidelines issued by authorities like social distancing, proper hand hygiene, etc.

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