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Covid-19 and Lungs: All you need to know

Dr Rishika Agarwal 1594 Views
Updated: 11 Jan 2024
Published: 02 Feb 2021
Covid-19 and Lungs

All around the world, there have been numerous efforts made to push back against the novel Coronavirus. The pandemic, which took the world by storm had put everyone from patients to healthcare workers in a fix. But little by little, we learnt a lot about the virus and how it affects our body.

During this time, one of the first things the world learnt was how Covid-19 can affect our lungs. The impact which the virus has on our lungs can be fateful, especially to the people already suffering from co-morbidities.

How does Covid-19 reach the lungs?

Many people believed that the novel coronavirus entered the bloodstream and thus affected the lungs. But over time, the real passageway to the lungs were found. When a person comes in contact with Covid-19 and then touches their face, the virus enters the body through the nose, mouth or eyes. It does so by sticking to the mucous membranes. On entering the body, they multiply and take over healthy cells.

These newly formed cells then enter the trachea, which is also known as the windpipe of the body. As an organ, the trachea is like a hollow tube with branch like nodes at its end. These nodes are connected to the lungs. The virus cells go down the windpipe and reach the nodes, and thus, the lungs. The nodes at the end of the trachea have small air sacs. These sacs, called alveoli are responsible for sending oxygen to the rest of the body. The coronavirus cells infect the upper and lower part of the trachea and thus, cause problems in sending oxygen to vital organs, which in what makes it such a deadly affliction.

What does the diagnosis show?

Thankfully, for the majority of people who contract the novel coronavirus, the severity of symptoms is only mild. This means, they will present symptoms like a dry cough, sore throat, fever and in some cases pneumonia or a lung infection. Through a regimen of medicines alongside observation, the body slowly regains its immunity and the virus dies over a period of time. The effect on the lungs too is minimal in such a case.

But then come the serious cases, which usually consist of people who are either seniors or infants. Due to a compromised immune system, the lungs cannot fight back effectively and thus, problems can be caused. For people with serious cases, mucus and fluid fills their lungs along with other debris. This puts pressure on the air sacs and make it difficult for them to breathe. Not just that, even the supply of oxygen gets affected, which in turn, has an effect on the whole body. These too, in most cases, are treatable. But it is yet to be studied if these symptoms leave behind any long-term effects on the body.

Then comes the patients who need to be the most careful – the ones with co-morbidities. These patients unfortunately are more likely to succumb to the disease. The virus sticks to the lining of their lungs, making them inflamed and thus blocking the pathway that swaps oxygen and carbon dioxide. When this happens, the patients need to be put on a ventilator to help them do so.

Taking care over time

For patients who have been affected by Covid-19, there needs to be a fair amount of care taken. Currently, many medical studies point to the fact that lungs are the primary organ affected due to the novel coronavirus and as such, may cause fatigue and a general lack of immunity even after the disease has passed through. In such cases, a recovery regimen set by the doctor needs to be followed thoroughly and alongside that, precautionary measures should also be followed so as to not be re-infected by the disease.

If you have experienced symptoms of Coronavirus, reach out to your doctor immediately or get a RT-PCR test done from Pathkind labs. Given the case that you have already been a Covid-19 survivor, it is essential that you get an Antigen test done to see how strong your antibodies are to fight the occurrence of other diseases in the near future.

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