Finds Out How Coronavirus Attack The Body And Can Cause Death- DoctorOnCall

Answered by: Dr Sri Viknarajan
Updated on: April 27, 2020

Question:
Greetings doctor. Before I proceed with my question, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the frontliner for the sacrifice in fighting against this coronavirus pandemic. May all of you guys stay protected just like how you guys are protecting this whole nation. Back to my question. I always keep myself up-to-date with current issues. What I noticed form there is, the symptoms experienced by those who contracted the disease is different. It makes me wonder. They are contracting the same virus but the effect is different from one person to one person. So, can you explain to me, how the virus attacks the body, resulting in different symptoms to each individual. Thank you.
Answer:
Thank you for your kind words. We would really appreciate that. We’re hoping that our sacrifice won’t be lost in vain with some of the people violating the restriction of movement order. To answer your question, the effect of the virus is very much depending with an individual immunity level. Yes, the virus attacks the infected person in a similar mechanism but the defend system is different. According to their immunity level which is influenced by several factors such as genetics, lifestyle, diet and health status, the reaction to it would be different. To answer your next question, you can read the article below which I’m going to explain in detail.

For those who don’t know the full name of Covid-19, it stands for Coronavirus Disease and the number 19 refers to the year 2019 where the virus was first discovered in Wuhan, China. 

At the beginning of the infection process, individuals are often exposed to fluids contaminated by the virus through touch, sneezing, and friction. It then enters the respiratory tract through contact with the nasal cavity, mouth, and eyes. The respiratory tract extends from the nose to the smallest bronchial unit where oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange occurs in the component.



To understand how this virus affects a person’s health, let's take a closer look at the structure of the virus itself. On the surface of the COVID-19 virus, there is a nail shaped structure. This structure allows it to attach to the receptors located on cells at the surface of the respiratory tract. Once it is able to attach itself to the cell, it begins to interfere with the normal physiology of the cell and over time the cells will begin to break down. 

As a result of this process, our body will begin to respond to the small invaders of the virus. One of the most common examples of reactions is that a person’s body temperature starts to increase to stop the virus. This is because the virus needs an optimal temperature to work. Therefore, a fever with a temperature of more than 37.5 is one of the common symptoms of this infection. 

In addition to fever, cough is also a common symptom. This is because the virus dominates a person’s respiratory tract. The coughing activity is also the body’s response to the virus being released from the respiratory tract. That’s why we are often advised to practice proper cough etiquette. This is important to prevent the virus spread. Therefore, use a tissue when coughing to make sure the virus does not spread to other people and throw it in the trash immediately. Do not scatter the contaminated tissue with the virus anywhere. 

For many people, cough and fever are common symptoms. If a person has good immunity, the virus can be eliminated with antibodies produced by the body. However, 2 out of 10 cases have more severe symptoms. How did this happen? 

As described above, bronchiole is the most endogenous unit in the respiratory tract and is extremely critical for its function is to deliver oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide from red blood cells. If the virus only infects the upper respiratory tract, it may only cause mild symptoms such as cough, sore throat, and fever or may not show any symptoms. 

However, if the virus affects the respiratory tract in the lower part of the lungs including the bronchi, then more serious symptoms such as shortness of breath will occur to the individual. 

Like normal inflammatory reactions, the respiratory tract begins to expand and is filled with water. This condition is called pneumonia and it interferes with the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide if left untreated and it can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This condition makes one difficult to breathe and requires special treatment in the intensive care unit of the hospital. 

As we know, cells depend on oxygen to survive. The effect of this condition is that it impairs the oxygen supply to all the organs in the body. If this problem is not addressed, the organs in the body will eventually die. This scenario is what actually invites death. Therefore, if you have any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, please consult your doctor immediately.



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