The coronavirus pandemic has given rise to many myths. Disinformation abounds and little is actually known about the mysterious COVID-19 and what happens in the body after the infection.
To date, more than 19,600 have died from the disease and its complications worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University real-time counter. For the more than 438,000 infected in the rest of the world, the zoxobra is overwhelming at what can happen to them if the infection is complicated.
Here, Dr. Aliza Lifshitz, renowned Mexican internist, co-president and editorial director of the Life and Health program, explains to People en Español how COVID-19 works in the lungs and why it can be so dangerous.
What happens when the virus enters the body?
The virus particles will enter the back of the throat and the back of the nostrils. Upon entry they will adhere to the mucous membranes and virus particles will then bind to the membranes. What happens is that the coronavirus is a round virus that has a beaked protein and those spikes then allow it to bind to the membrane and by attaching itself to the membrane, the virus can enter the cell. When it enters the cell, its genetic material causes the cell to stop working normally and then begins to allow the virus to reproduce. When it reproduces, the cell explodes and then infects neighboring cells.
What happens when it goes down to the chest?
Going down the bronchi, it reaches the lungs and infects the membrane of the lungs and inflames the membrane. This damages the socket, which is the bag whose function is to provide oxygen that circulates throughout the body and also to remove carbon dioxide when we exhale. When you start to inflame that membrane, you obviously cannot remove carbon dioxide or distribute that oxygen. Also, when that membrane begins to swell, fluid begins to accumulate, pus can accumulate and there are dead cells. So what it is all about is pneumonia or pneumonia or infection. There may also come a bacterium and in addition to the coronavirus pneumonia problem there may be an added bacterial pneumonia infection.
How does it get worse?
In very serious cases, the person may need assisted ventilation, but many times despite assisted ventilation, they may not subsist. In very severe cases, in addition to affecting the lung, it can affect other organs. It can go into the intestinal system, it can cause diarrhea.
Microscopic image of COVID-19
Who is most at risk of getting sick and why?
The main problem [is that] the most vulnerable people are those over 60, people with a depressed immune system, people who have other diseases like diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular problems.
Why is this virus so contagious?
The problem and why we should all worry is the following: the virus is very contagious. One in five people do not know where they got it. Experts think that for every person we identify, there are 20 more cases. And we don't identify many cases that are asymptomatic or very mild [because those people] have not been tested. We simply know here in the United States that we started testing very late.
How about asymptomatic people, so-called "superspreaders"?
Young people, many of them are not going to get seriously ill. Most of those cases are asymptomatic or have mild cases. But 20% are serious and 5% are critical. But those people who are perhaps asymptomatic can infect someone and that someone can be the father, the grandfather and they don't know that they are doing it, but it can be a loved one. So we have a responsibility as a society to protect ourselves and others.
-If you are looking for more information on medical issues and COVID-19, HITN-TV broadcasts a series of real-time capsules created in collaboration with The Health Channel, developments for the Hispanic community on its Vida y Salud television block.
Popular by topic
Grandfather Dead After Hospital Allegedly Pumped Detergent into His Lungs Instead of Saline
Lou Tomososki, 70, who suffered eye damage after the 1962 solar eclipse, testifies for others to protect themselves on August 21
Colombian actress Carmen Villalobos tearfully denounced through her social networks a recent case of animal abuse that deeply moved her
What happens to Luciana, the daughter of Lorena Rojas? Mayra Rojas, who was in charge of the little girl, recounts what the life of the six-year-old girl is like
Latin-rock artist Ceci Bastida fearlessly addresses social issues in her music and beyond