The year 2020 is an unprecedented one with the novel coronavirus that affected us all. All over the world, doctors, researchers and scientists are constantly trying to learn as much as they can about the virus and its impact on the human body, both short term and long term. The COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of common cold, but it could have adverse effects on other organs of your body like your liver, lungs and even brain.
It is advised that people undergo a COVID 19 test in London if they experience any related symptoms of Covid.
How The Virus Spreads
Coronavirus is airborne and can quickly spread through air droplets of an infected person while him/her is talking, coughing or sneezing. Without any protective cover, the virus can easily spread between people nearby or those less than 6 feet apart of each other. When a person gets infected, most often, the symptoms do not manifest immediately, which means the individual can unknowingly infect other people or surfaces around him/her. It is relatively uncommon though to get infected via surfaces like door handles or inanimate objects.
Upper Respiratory Infection
The first place the virus lodges in when it enters the body is the cells of the nasal cavity and throat. It stays there for most individuals for about 2 weeks before reproducing and attacking other healthy body cells. Often, infected people don't display any symptoms until after 14 days of being exposed to the virus. It is highly possible to infect other people during this period.
During the early stages of infection, the symptoms exhibited include dry cough, sore throat, headache, fever and so on. This varies according to individuals. Some other symptoms associated with this stage are
- Nausea or diarrhoea
- Chills and body ache
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath and fatigue
- Loss of sense of smell and taste
Lower Respiratory Infection
Your immune system is important in combating the virus, and if it fails to do so within the first week, the virus is very likely to move into your lungs. The cells that line your lungs are the primary target. When they get attacked, it causes a build-up of mucus and fluid that blocks oxygen from reaching the blood. As a result, breathing becomes difficult, and this leads to a condition known as pneumonia. People at this stage frequently recover within the first 2 weeks, but it can be longer for some.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
At this stage, your pneumonia due to COVID-19 becomes worse, and your body's natural response does more harm than good to your lungs. What happens is that the alveoli (small, delicate air sacs) which are responsible for the transfer of oxygen to your blood become filled instead with junk. This means that large areas of your lung get deprived of oxygen. At this stage, it becomes difficult to breathe on your own because of the low oxygen levels in your blood. A ventilator is needed at this point to aid proper breathing.
Problems with the Immune System
At this point, the cytokine (chemical signalling agents in the body) level start to spike dangerously that the cells of the immune system start to attack healthy cells. This stage is referred to as a Cytokine storm by doctors. Many health practitioners believe that the excessive response of the immune system to the virus leads to more serious issues for the body. A cytokine storm causes other health problems such as organ failure, low blood pressure and damage of some blood vessels.
Doctors have identified some heart problems in people infected with the virus. This is often the case for people with underlying health issues. The heart issues noticed include
- Cardiomyopathy: This occurs when your heart becomes weak due to excess, thick and stiff heart tissue.
- Shock: This happens when the heart is unable to pump enough blood for the body.
- Acute Cardiac Injury: When the heart gets damaged, the body releases very high levels of a protein called Troponin.
- Arrhythmia: This occurs when the heart is beating very fast.
Blood Vessel Issues
Blood vessels are not safe from COVID-19 attack as well. Apart from heart problems, the virus could also attack cells that line the blood vessels, thus causing blood clots. These blood clots can lead to pulmonary embolism or stroke. People who are very ill with the virus often have a substance in their blood that doctors call "D-dimer" which is a sign of more blood clots.
Brain Related Problems
COVID-19 has been found to affect the nervous system and cause seizures. In some cases, this is due to swelling or inflammation in the central nervous system. Brain issues associated with the virus include loss of sense of smell, loss of consciousness and stroke.
A large number of people infected with COVID-19 have blood enzyme levels that suggest possible damage to their liver. It is still unclear whether the virus causes this issue. Medications and a stressed-out immune system are also notable causes.
A significant number of persons infected with the virus have conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye. This is caused by an irritant, virus or bacteria that itches the outer tissue covering the eye as well as the inside of your eyelids.
Having a damaged kidney is a common side effect for those who are very ill from the virus. Several things can cause this; medications, low blood pressure, underlying health problems and immune system misfiring.
Recent studies on the virus and those infected show that up to 40% of infected persons are "asymptomatic". This means that although they are infected with the virus, they do not display any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or fall ill. The Virus can still affect their body system because when they go for COVID-19 test, X-ray and CT scans, it shows lung damage including a common lung lesion found in people infected with the virus called "ground-glass opacities".
You should look for the closest testing centre for COVID test near mebecause getting tested is the surest way to know your COVID-19 status. With the recent information about asymptomatic people, it is obvious COVID symptoms are not a reliable source for knowing if you have been infected or not.