Here’s what scientists have studied and learned about how the new virus infects and damages cells and how it can affect the other organs beyond the lungs.
As cases of coronavirus infection are growing rapidly around the globe and therefore the governments are also taking extraordinary measures to limit the spread but still a question is still rising in the mind what does it do to the human body. There is a lot of confusion about this and people are willing to know the answer! We are going to share with you some valuable answers. Be seated and read carefully…..
The symptoms — cough, fever, and shortness of breath — can signal any number of illnesses, from flu to strep to the common cold. Here is what medical experts and researchers have learned so far about the progression of the infection caused by this new coronavirus — and what they still don’t know.
How does this coronavirus cause infection?
The virus is spread through droplets transmitted into the air from coughing or sneezing, which people nearby can take in through their nose, mouth, or eyes. The viral particles in these droplets are so fast that they can travel very quickly to the back of your nasal passages and the mucous membranes in the back of your throat and by attaching to a particular receptor in cells, they(the virus) start their journey within the body.
Coronavirus particles have speared proteins sticking out from their surfaces, and these spear-like things hook onto cell membranes, allowing the virus’s genetic material to enter the human cell. And if that genetic material enters it hijacks the metabolism of the cell and booms! The human cell is under the control of coronavirus and it helps the disease to multiply itself in the body.
How does that process cause respiratory problems?
As duplicates of the virus multiply, they burst out and infect neighboring cells. The symptoms often start in the back of the throat with a sore throat and a dry cough.
Dr. Schaffner said that the virus creeps steadily down the bronchial tubes. When the virus reaches the lungs, their mucous membranes become inflamed and thus more dangerous and harmful. That can damage the alveoli of lung sacs and they have to work harder. To carry out their function of supplying oxygen to the blood that circulates throughout our body. And removing carbon dioxide from the blood so that it can be punishing.
What trajectory does the coronavirus carry with it in the lungs?
Dr. Shu-Yuan Xiao, an experienced professor of pathology examines pathology reports on coronavirus patients in China. He said the virus appears to start in the outmost areas on both sides of the lung. and it takes a while, let to reach the upper respiratory tract, the trachea, and other central airways.
Dr. Xiao, who also serves as the director of the Center For Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics at Wuhan University, said that pattern helps explain why in Wuhan, where the outbreak began, many of the earliest cases increase immediately.
The initial testing regimen in many Chinese hospitals did not always detect infection in the peripheral lungs, so some people with symptoms were sent home without treatment.
“They’d either go to other hospitals to seek treatment or stay home and infect their family,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons there was such a widespread.”
Are the lungs the only part of the body affected?
Not necessarily. Dr. Compton-Phillips said the infection can spread through the mucous membranes, from the nose down to the rectum. So while the virus appears to zero in on the lungs, it may also be able to infect cells in the gastrointestinal system, experts say. This may be why some patients have symptoms like diarrhea or indigestion. As claimed by Dr. Schaffner, the shocking news is that “the coronavirus can also get into the bloodstream.”
The Centers for Prevention & Disease Control claimed that RNA(Ribonucleic acid) from the new coronavirus is in blood and stool specimens. But that it’s unclear whether the infectious virus can persist in blood or stool.
Bone marrow and organs like the liver can be hard too, said Dr. George Diaz. He is a section leader for infectious diseases at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash, whose team treated the first U.S. coronavirus patient. There may also be some inflammation in small blood vessels, as happened with SARS, the viral outbreak in 2002 and 2003.
“The virus will land on organs like the heart, the kidney, the liver, and may cause some direct damage to those organs,” Dr. Schaffner said. As the body’s immune system shifts into high gear to battle the infection, the resulting inflammation may cause those organs to malfunction, he said.
What do scientists still don’t know about coronavirus patients?
A lot. Although the illness resembles SARS in many respects and has elements in common with influenza and pneumonia, the course a patient’s coronavirus will take is not yet fully understood.
As claimed by Dr. Diaz, “Some patients can remain sound for over 7 days, and then they suddenly developed pneumonia.” Some patients seem to recover but then develop the same symptoms again.
The virus damages the lung tissue to such an extent that they steadily attack various bacteria inside its body. Some of those patients died due to bacterial infection, not the virus. But that didn’t appear to cause most of the deaths.
Other cases have been dreadful mysteries. One of the cases Dr. Xiao told was…..
Dr. Xiao said he knew a man and woman who got infected by the virus, and they seemed to be improving. But after some time the man deteriorated.