Coronavirus: What it does to the body

The battle against the new Corona virus was a battle against the unknown for doctors.

How do you attack the body? What is the full set of symptoms? Likely to be seriously ill or die? How do you deal with it?

Now, a report from doctors on the frontline of the epidemic at Jianitan Hospital in Wuhan has begun to provide answers.

A detailed analysis of the first 99 patients treated was published in the Lancet medical journal.

Lung attack

All 99 patients who were hospitalized had pneumonia – their lungs were inflamed and the pouches were small as the oxygen moved from the air to the blood filled with water.

Other symptoms were:

  • 82 had fever
  • 81 had a cough
  • 31 had shortness of breath
  • 11 had muscle ache
  • nine had confusion
  • eight had a headache
  • five had a sore throat

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The first deaths

It appears that the first two patients who died were healthy, although they had been smoking for a long time and this would weaken their lungs.

The first, a 61-year-old man, had severe pneumonia when he arrived at the hospital.

He was suffering from severe shortness of breath, which meant that his lungs were unable to provide enough oxygen for his organs to keep his body alive.

Despite the ventilator, his lungs failed and his heart stopped beating.

He died 11 days after entering.

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The second patient, a 69-year-old man, also suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome.

It was attached to an artificial lung or ECMO (oxygen by a membrane outside the body) but that was not enough.

He died of acute pneumonia and septic shock when his blood pressure collapsed.

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