Research states –
Unlike typical pneumonia, Covid-19 pneumonia can spread like “wildfire” throughout our lungs.
This could be an explanation why Covid-19 pneumonia lasts significantly longer and causes intense harm than regular pneumonia. Several studies have led to the belief that Covid-19 infects the smaller regions of our lungs unlike other varmints of pneumonia that impact the larger surfaces of lungs. CT scan or X-ray may show peripheral involvement initially, but rapidly it involves the whole lung.
This startling discovery explains how Covid-19 “exploits” the lung’s own immune system to rapidly spread across the entire lung in a span of weeks. This is a similar phenomenon as to how multiple wildfires spread through acres of forest land – burning from within!
Now, as Covid-19 pneumonia moves slowly in the initial phases – it leaves behind damaged lung tissues with no traces except:
- Feverish symptoms
- Slowly damaging the organs
- Fluctuations in blood pressure
The longer duration of Covid-19 pneumonia rather than greater severity is the main culprit behind serious health complications, including the long Covid syndrome along with lung fibrosis and others. Any delay would only worsen the situation. Hence, upon noticing the first symptoms, seek the help of a reputed Covid doctor in Kolkata. You can get in touch with Dr. Amitabha Saha – an internal medicine specialist with vast COVID experiences. He has ample experience in treating patients with Covid since its onset.
How is Covid-19 pneumonia different?
The Covid-19 pneumonia symptoms might seem similar to the other viral pneumonia symptoms. This is why it is difficult to diagnose unless you get tested for Covid. Leading researchers deployed CT scans and lab tests to compare the clinical signs between the two.
It is concluded that patients with Covid-19 are more likely to develop:
- Pneumonia that affects both the lungs instead of one
- Abnormalities like faulty liver function
- “Ground-glass” appearance of the lungs (via CT Scan)
Information derived from these studies has been potentially useful in the prognosis of how SARS-CoV-2 affects our lungs and respiratory system as a whole!
Symptoms of Covid-19 pneumonia
Some of the common symptoms of Covid-19 pneumonia are somewhat similar to that of regular pneumonia. Those include:
- Cold and cough
- Develop of ARDS
- Chest pain
Although in most coronavirus cases, the symptoms are from mild to moderate intensity. However, in some acute cases, pneumonia can lead to severe breathing problems, drop in oxygen levels, and progression towards ARDS.
Seek medical assistance immediately –
If you develop symptoms like –
- Difficulty in breathing
- Shallow and rapid breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Persistent pain in the chest
- Bluish tinge on face, lips & fingernails
- Sense of confusion
- Trouble in staying awake
Seek emergency care immediately and consult with a Covid specialist near me and check how much you are at risk.
Who is at higher risk of contracting Covid-19 pneumonia?
Older individuals above the age of 65 are at higher risk for severe infection due to Covid-19. Patients who are already at a higher risk of developing serious health complications like ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and pneumonia can face fatal consequences if infected with the coronavirus.
On the other hand, individuals who are suffering from underlying health conditions pose a serious threat for serious Covid-19 illness & pneumonia. Some of the health conditions that might put you at a higher risk are:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
People with a weakened immune system can also raise the risk of Covid-19 illness. Individuals who are immunocompromised can result out from:
- Suffering from HIV
- Undergoing chemotherapy
- Under medication containing corticosteroids
- Recently received a bone marrow or an organ transplant
Under all of these conditions, seeking the help of Covid-19 specialists is always recommended.
Can your pneumonia vaccine prevent Covid-19 pneumonia?
As per the experts at WHO –
“A regular pneumonia vaccine cannot protect you from a new coronavirus infection.”
Now, as the vaccine for Covid-19 is in full swing in India, you should get yourself vaccinated as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the pneumonia vaccine can only prevent certain types of infections like pneumococcal pneumonia.
Differentiating ARDS and covid-19 pneumonia
A patient suffering from ARDS can develop similar medical problems to that of covid-19 induced pneumonia. Apart from the striking similarities like lung infections, collapsed lungs, excessive breathing problems, cases of dementia, and fatigue – there are some notable differences as well.
Thanks to improved diagnosis, patience suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome have witnessed specific symptoms such as:
- Scarring of air sacs or pulmonary fibrosis
- Formation of blood clots
- Developing sepsis (severe infection within the bloodstream)
The bottom line
While most cases of coronavirus infection in India range between mild to moderate, Covid-19 pneumonia can be extremely severe causing total respiratory failure.
It must not be confused with ARDS although Covid-19 infection can develop search symptoms as well. To avoid any confusion and receive immediate treatment, you must seek the help of a qualified medical professional and inspect your health regularly. Lastly, make sure to follow the Covid-19 safety protocol to contain the spread.