The new coronavirus spread has infected millions of people around the world. Many public health authorities are taking up strict measures to contain the disease and limit the transmission. However, the novel coronavirus has managed to cause community spread among many countries. Currently, there is no specific medical treatment or a preventive vaccine to cure COVID-19. Therefore, it is essential to follow preventive measures and stay protected.
Moreover, you must understand the severity of the symptoms. Additionally, the effect of the new coronavirus on your body and immune system. This will help you to take appropriate symptomatic treatment and control the disease during the early stages of infection.
Today’s article will highlight the effects of coronavirus on the body. Furthermore, we will discuss the incubation period and recovery from the novel coronavirus.
What is the incubation period of coronavirus?
The incubation period is usually the time when the virus establishes itself into the host tissue. Typically, during this time, the virus works on invading the body cells and spread the disease. The new coronavirus, also referred to as SARS-CoV-2 usually invades the body through respiratory droplets or contaminated surfaces. (1)
It then infects the throat and lungs, where it multiplies into a vast number of viruses that affect the surrounding tissue cells. This period takes around seven or more to make the person sick and develop the symptoms.
How does coronavirus affect the body?
Typically, the COVID-19 can affect the body in three levels of severity –
Most people infected from SARS-CoV-2 experience mild illness during the early stages of the infection. Almost eight out of 10 people who contract the virus have shown the core symptoms of fever and cough during this stage. Other symptoms that occur during the mild stage of disease spread –
- Severe body aches
- Headache (2)
- Sore throat
- Nausea and diarrhea
Typically, during the initial period, the virus triggers the immune system of the body and causes the release of cytokines. This protective chemical activates the defense mechanism in the body. Often, this mechanism causes inflammation in the affected areas of the body where the lymphocytes and macrophages act to kill the virus.
Usually, the coronavirus causes a dry cough and irritation to the throat cells. Gradually it transforms into a wet cough with the development of thick mucus that contains the virus and dead lung cells. An infected person at this time is the hotspot of disease spread among the community.
This stage usually lasts for one week, during which the individual is treated with medications for cough and fever, hydrating fluids, and bed rest. Recovery during this stage is crucial; otherwise, the disease transmits to the next step affecting deeper body cells.
Usually, the disease proceeds to the severe stage when the immune system of the body has been exhausted from fighting the symptoms of the viral infection.
In this stage, the virus triggers an imbalance in the u=immune response. Typically, due to excessive inflammation, the body tissues caused as a result of cytokines release causes collateral damage throughout the body. (3)
One of the direct effects of this situation falls on the lungs leading to the development of Pneumonia. Usually, the lung sacs are circulated with oxygen and carbon dioxide. However, Pneumonia is a respiratory illness in which the tiny sacs in the lungs fill with water leading to shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing.
Based on the comprehensive data, Pneumonia was noticed among 14% of the people affected by a coronavirus. Some people even needed a ventilator to assist in breathing
As the name suggests, this is the most crucial stage where the body system starts to fail, and there is an increased risk of death. It is estimated that around 6% of people, especially those with weak immune systems, reach this stage of the infection. During this stage, the immune system spirals out of control leading to –
- Septic shock
- Significant decrease in the blood pressure
- Multiple organ failure
Another complication that can occur during this stage is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. This disorder cuts the oxygen supply to the lungs. Moreover, it prevents the kidneys from cleaning the damaged linings of the intestines and blood.
What is the rate of recovery from coronavirus?
Currently, the mortality rate among the confirmed coronavirus cases is 4%. The World Health Organization declared that with the containment of the disease among the community, the eventual toll of viral infections would reduce to as little as 1%. (4)
Moreover, in the coming days, the number of recoveries will begin to outstrip the number of infected cases.
What are the chances of re-infection?
It is believed that an infected person usually develops immunity against the virus, which helps him to fight the disease during re-infection. However, looking at the cases of re-infection during the coronavirus outbreak in china, it was noticed that around 14% of the recovering patients retested positive.
However, this data has not been fully verified. Moreover, according to the CDC is still observing the immune response of people against the disease. Therefore, it is too early to jump to any definite conclusions.
Take away message
The novel coronavirus typically causes upper respiratory tract infection that mainly affects the throat and lungs of the body. The incubation period lasts for almost seven or more days, during which the virus invades the tissue cells.
Typically, coronavirus infects in three stages mild stage, which causes dry cough, headache, fever, and gastrointestinal symptoms. As the disease spreads, it affects the deeper lung tissues leading to Pneumonia. Pneumonia is a respiratory disease in which the lung sacs get filled with water leading to difficulty in breathing.
It is essential to treat the symptoms effectively and prevent the progression of the disease. Failure to take proper care may lead to a critical stage where the immune system fails to protect the body of the illness leading to multiple organ failure and, in severe cases, death.