Coronavirus outbreak. Photograph:( Reuters )
The viral particles begin their journey by travelling to the nasal passages and to the membranes lining the back of the throat.
What exactly is the journey it undertakes once a person catches the infection? We explain to you here:
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. A type of coronavirus causes COVID-19.It spreads through droplets that are released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus then enters the body through the mouth, nose or eyes.
The viral particles begin their journey by travelling to the nasal passages and to the membranes lining the back of the throat. Each cell that gets infected can generate copies of the virus before it dies. Millions of copies of the virus can get created.
The virus then makes its way through the bronchial tubes. and reaches the lungs. At this point. the mucous membranes of the lungs become inflamed. The infection can also spread to other parts of the body apart from the lungs. Cells in the gastrointestinal system can also be affected if the virus travels through the mucous membranes from the nose to the rectum. Diarrhoea and indigestion have been recorded as symptoms in some cases.
The liver can get inflamed as well. As the novel coronavirus continues to attack the lung cells. It can damage the lung sacs and hamper the ability of the lungs to supply oxygen. The infection can cause fluids and dead cells to build up in the lungs leading to pneumonia. This means the patient has difficulty breathing. and might need ventilator support.
In severe cases, the infection can cause what's called acute respiratory distress syndrome when the lungs get filled with too much fluid and the patient cannot survive.