Coronavirus News: What Happens To Your Body When You Get The Virus

Ever since emerging in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus (officially named the COVID-19) has killed over 1,000 and infected around 45,000 people. With no vaccine on sight, it seems likely that those numbers would go up sooner than later.

What exactly does it do to your body? Why do some people die?

The New Coronavirus

Truth is, a lot is still unknown about it. This is because the virus itself only came to the attention of experts when it started infecting people from the Chinese city of Wuhan after leaping from a presumed piece of animal meat from an assorted meat market to a person, who then started showing pneumonia-like symptoms.

But according to the World Health Organization who already declared it as a global public health emergency late last January, getting infected by the virus would give you the same symptoms as any other respiratory illness. This means that it can cause mild fever, a runny nose, sore throat and the usual cough. However, it does have more serious cases that it causes pneumonia as well as numerous breathing problems in such instances.

"More rarely, the disease can be fatal," the UN health agency said.

Recently, a paper published in the journal JAMA revealed how the virus from the coronavirus family affects people, after the researchers assessed the condition of 138 patients who developed pneumonia after catching COVID-19. These patients were treated at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in the city at the epicenter of the outbreak. However, while the virus itself managed to spread to over two dozen countries within a month’s time, all but two of the deaths happened in Hubei, China.

Furthermore, out of all the participants, six died and the remaining was hospitalized as of February 3. Most of these patients experienced respiratory illness-like symptoms such as fatigue, a fever and some dry coughing. Meanwhile, patients who developed acute respiratory distress syndrome had it after eight days.

However, most of these patients had an average age of 56. "This suggests that age and comorbidity may be risk factors for poor outcome,” the study authors wrote in the paper.

Wuhan Coronavirus Wuhan seafood market closed after the new coronavirus was detected there for the first time on January 1, 2020. SISTEMA 12/Wikimedia Commons