On April 14, there were more than 2 million COVID-19 cases worldwide. Around 1.4 lakh people died from the disease, but 5 lakh people have recovered.
See how the new coronavirus affects the human body and what the recovery path is.
How coronavirus attacks lungs?
The new coronavirus usually enters the body through the nose or mouth and eventually deposits in the air sacs or alveoli in the lungs.
The virus “hijacks” cells in the alveoli and begins to replicate itself until the host cell dies, causing the virus to spread and attack neighboring cells. When a virus hijacks a cell, it promotes an immune response in the form of inflammation. This can cause fluid to accumulate in the alveoli, causing dry cough or shortness of breath.
In very severe cases, patients may develop systemic inflammatory response syndrome, which can lead to septic shock and multiple organ failure and the similar has been recorded as a cause of death for Covid-19 patients.
Time required for recovery:
About 80-85% of Covid-19 patients have mild or moderate infections. But in 15-20% of cases, patients will experience severe symptoms.
Experts say that it may take six weeks to fully recover from Covid-19, and even months in some serious cases.
Patients with mild cases typically recover in about two weeks after the symptoms run their course, much like in the case of the flu.
Limited data on moderate cases of Covid-19 indicate that patients often feel a shortness of breath and require at least a few days of hospitalisation and oxygen support.
Some patients have high fever or diarrhea, which dehydrates them and requires the use of IV fluids.
In the most severe cases, patients may develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which causes the lungs to fill with fluid and restrict breathing. They need a mechanical ventilator, which usually takes a few weeks.
Generally, due to the weak immune system, elderly patients and patients with heart disease and other diseases have the least chance of recovering from ARDS. As of last week, more than 60% of deaths occurred in India were in the 60-plus age group. However, there is no guarantee that young people will recover from ARDS.
Global standards usually require patients to test negative in two consecutive tests separated by 24 hours. However, the details of the discharge protocols vary by country.
More about COVID-19:
Although Covid-19 is a respiratory disease that mainly affects the lungs, doctors and researchers have reported that the virus also damages the heart, kidneys, intestines, and liver. Cytokine storms are at least partly responsible for these effects, although experts are still investigating other possible causes.
The range of organs affected by the virus makes the progression of the disease unpredictable and complicates the recovery process.