What COVID-19 Does to the Body?

COVID-19 is a disease that’s caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which first started appearing in China in December of 2019. This highly contagious disease spreads through respiratory droplets. Even people with no symptoms can carry and spread COVID-19, and both humans and animals can contract the disease.

Now, as we enter the autumn of 2020, we’re getting a clearer picture of how COVID-19 affects the human body. While the disease often manifests with respiratory symptoms, COVID-19 can impact multiple vital systems, including your cardiovascular system.

At RehabOne Medical Group, our health professionals in Los Gatos, San Jose, Gilroy, and Salinas, California, have been with our patients every step of the way through this pandemic. 

How COVID-19 is contracted

The microscopic SARS-CoV-2 virus can remain living for some time in the airborne droplets exhaled by an infected person. If you breathe in these droplets or pick up viral particles on your hands and transmit them to your eyes, nose, or mouth, you can become infected.

Many people who are exposed to COVID-19 are protected by their immune systems and don’t develop a severe illness as a result. You may have no symptoms or just feel like you have a bad cold for a few days. However, even if you aren’t life-threateningly ill yourself, you can still transmit and spread the virus to others who could develop more severe cases.

How COVID-19 spreads in the body

Once the virus gains entry into your body, it attaches to certain receptors in your cells. The coronavirus has a shape like a round sphere covered with spikes. The virus uses these spikes to attach itself to your cell membranes. Then the virus releases its own genetic material into the cells. 

As your cells continue to naturally multiply, they end up spreading the virus throughout your body. 

The effects of COVID-19

As the virus increasingly hijacks and infects your cells, you can start to develop symptoms, such as a sore throat or a dry cough. If your immune system can’t successfully repel these foreign invaders, the COVID-19 infection can travel deeper into your respiratory system.

If your lungs are impacted by COVID-19, inflammation can compromise your ability to breathe freely. COVID-19 can also affect your digestive tract, causing diarrhea and gastrointestinal symptoms. We’re still continuing to learn more about the apparent potential of COVID-19 to negatively affect major organs, such as the heart and vascular system.

For people with preexisting respiratory problems, COVID-19 can create lasting breathing issues. Researchers have also noted that patients with diabetes or high blood pressure have a higher risk of developing COVID-19 complications. And older people are more vulnerable to COVID-19 across the board, regardless of their overall health.

We’re taking ongoing precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and following all recommended health guidelines, as we continue to serve our patients at .RehabOne Medical Group.

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