COVID-19 is a virus-induced infection — SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 infection is transmitted via droplets. If a person coughs or exhales COVID-19, he or she may get an infection. Affected individuals may remain asymptomatic or develop flu-like symptoms such as coughing, fever, and headaches.
Medical experts at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) have reported that the new coronavirus can affect almost every organ in our body, but breathing is the most prevalent. It looks like a vessel.
How exactly does it harm our respiratory system?
The virus affects the lungs and causes flu-like symptoms, that is, in severe cases, coughing, shortness of breath, or shortness of breath.
Anatomy of the human respiratory system
The air we breathe enters the nasal passages through the nostrils. Then move the trachea (also called the trachea) down. The trachea branches into two primary bronchi (the left and right primary bronchi) and enters each lung. Both the left and right primary bronchi branch into the secondary and tertiary bronchioles, and finally the bronchioles. The bronchioles open into a sac-like structure called the alveoli. The alveoli are the place of exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the bloodstream.
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infection of one or both lungs caused by a foreign pathogen. Our body responds to all foreign pathogens by inducing a protective reaction called inflammation. Inflammation of pneumonia in the lungs happens to be in the alveoli, the site of gas exchange. This inflammation causes the alveoli to accumulate fluid and dead cells.
The air sac is partially or filled with liquid instead of gas. Gas exchange slows down, but our body’s oxygen requirements remain the same. To meet our body’s oxygen needs, there is an increase in respiratory rate (increased respiratory rate per minute), which leads to shortness of breath and shortness of breath. Affected individuals may also present with symptoms such as coughing, fever, chest pain, chills, or malaise.
What is COVID-10 Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is not new to medicine. This can be caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Pneumonia associated with the new coronavirus was initially called new coronavirus infectious pneumonia (NCIP). It was later renamed COVID-19 by the WHO (World Health Organization) and was an abbreviation for Coronavirus Disease 2019.
How can I tell if my pneumonia is caused by the new coronavirus?
Symptoms of COVID-19 pneumonia are similar to other types of viral pneumonia. For now, the only way is to get tested for a new coronavirus. Studies are underway to distinguish COVID-19 pneumonia from other types of pneumonia, but one study recommends the use of CT scans and laboratory tests. This includes:
● Appearance of “frosted glass” of lungs on CT scan. In combination with the frosted glass pattern, there may be thick interlobular and intralobular lines. This is called crazy pavement.
● COVID-19 pneumonia affects both lungs, not just one.
● The number of lymphocytes is low.
● Increased CRP (C-reactive peptide).
What is the cure for COVID-19 pneumonia?
Currently, no treatment for COVID-19 pneumonia has been approved. Treatment is symptomatic treatment, that is, relieving symptoms.
The main problem with COVID-19 pneumonia is anoxia. Therefore, the patient receives oxygen support. In severe cases, a ventilator may be needed to help the patient breathe, and intravenous (IV) fluid is given to prevent dehydration.
People with viral pneumonia may suffer from secondary bacterial pneumonia. Antibiotics are used to treat this condition.
Some drugs have been found to be potential treatments for the treatment of COVID-19. These include:
● Remdesivir, an antiviral agent originally developed against the Ebola virus.
● Favipiravir, an antiviral agent.
● Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid.
● Hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug approved for the prevention of COVID-19.
Recently, the Government of India has approved the use of antiviral drugs such as fapipyravir and remdesivir to treat COVID-19. However, its effectiveness with COVID-19 continues to be debated among healthcare professionals.
What should I do if I suspect I have COVID-19?
● All medications have side effects, so do not take them without consulting a registered practitioner. To cure one illness, you may fall into the trap of another illness.
● Use a pulse oximeter to monitor SPo2 (oxygen saturation). If your oxygen saturation falls below 92, report it to the hospital.
● Perform an antigen test or RT-PCR test as soon as symptoms occur. This excludes other causes and makes the diagnosis clearer.
What percentage of COVID patients develop COVID-19 pneumonia?
Approximately 15% of people infected with COVID-19 are reportedly classified in the “severe” category, with additional oxygen therapy. And 5% of them may require a ventilator. Patients with pneumonia are more likely to develop ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome).
Some patients are prone to develop COVID-19 pneumonia. These include:
● Adults over 65 years old.
● The following comorbidities
○ COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or other respiratory illness.
○ Heart disease such as CAD (coronary artery disease)
○ High blood pressure
○ Liver disease
○ Chronic kidney disease
● Weak immune system: Certain conditions weaken the immune system. Some of them are:
– Organ or bone marrow transplant
– Chemotherapy or cancer treatment
– Receive medicines for autoimmune diseases and medicines like corticosteroids
What is COVID-19 pneumonia prophylaxis?
As well as COVID-19 pneumonia, the cheapest, safest and only preventative measure for COVID-19 is social distance. In addition to that, there are other important precautions to take:
● Maintain a habit of washing your hands.
● Maintain hydration, a healthy diet, and good sleep.
● Stay active and spend at least 30 minutes exercising and practicing yoga.
● If you have comorbidities, take the medicine regularly. Comorbidities tend to increase mortality. Therefore, for diabetics, blood sugar levels need to be controlled.
● Do not set foot in a crowded place.
Therefore, if you suspect you have COVID-19, it is very important to seek immediate help from your healthcare professional. Treatment and recovery of COVID-19 pneumonia is easy if detected early.
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