The global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus has resulted in more than 1.1 million deaths in the US and 100 million confirmed cases as per WHO statistics. While the worst of the pandemic is behind, it is necessary to be aware of actual symptoms, the manner in which the condition progresses and the treatment. This will help equip individuals in the event of any variant outbreak in populations. Following sub sections offer a detailed look at coronavirus, offering answers to the question – how do COVID-19 symptoms progress and what causes death? This also touches upon the various myths linked to the condition.

Overview of Covid-19

The virus spreads through respiratory droplets from an infected person that are released when the individual speaks, coughs, or sneezes. While most people associate the condition to symptoms, it is important to note that a section of infected people may not experience any symptoms at all or may have only mild symptoms. The impact of COVID-19 on society, included economically damaging lockdowns and restrictions on travel and gatherings in most nations across the world. The disease led to the development and production of vaccines on a global scale never seen before.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 may vary in severity, with some individuals experiencing no symptoms, labelled as asymptomatic. However, a significant percentage of infected individuals are estimated to have developed severe illness. Commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 include the following:

Symptoms typically appear anywhere between two days to a fortnight post exposure to the virus. However, a small section of infection people may not develop symptoms until later.

The progression and aggravation of the disease may vary from person to person; however, a general overview of its progression is outlined here.

#1 Early stage: Upon entering the body, the virus begins to multiply, and the infected person may experience mild symptoms. This includes fever, cough, and fatigue and during this stage, the virus can be transmitted to others.

#2 Pneumonia: The virus is also known to cause pneumonia, the dreaded infection in the lungs, with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

#3 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS): Severe afflictions of the virus can result in ARDS, a condition where the lungs are unable to provide enough oxygen to the body. This is known to result in organ failure, affecting the kidneys, liver, and heart and in certain instances cause death.

#4 Cytokine storm: In a percentage of patients with the condition, the immune system is known to overreact to the virus, producing excessive cytokines (inflammatory molecules). This triggers a “cytokine storm,” resulting in lung damage, blood clots, and other complications.

Certain factors are known to increase the risk of severe disease, including age, and existing underlying medical conditions. This includes lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Additionally, individuals with a weakened immune system are more at risk of experiencing aggravated symptoms. It is unlikely that everyone with COVID-19 will experience severe symptoms, and a good percentage of people recover without hospitalization.

The exact causes of death from COVID-19 can vary, but in severe cases, it is attributed to respiratory failure, sepsis, or multiple organ failure. The risk of death is higher in older adults and people with underlying medical conditions.

What are the treatment options for covid-19?

Various treatment options are available for COVID-19, and the appropriate treatment will depend on the severity of the illness and the infected individual. Common treatment options include the following:

Early treatment of the condition has helped prevent the progression of the disease, and this has, in turn, saved many lives.

What are the myths surrounding covid-19?

During the initial outbreak and subsequent outbreaks attributed to variants, various myths and misconceptions surrounded COVID-19. This was amplified by the reach of social mead resulting disastrous health consequences due to the harmful and misleading nature of the myths. Here are some of the common myths that were widely shared.

COVID-19 is nothing but the flu: While COVID-19 and the flu are similar to an extent, including causing respiratory symptoms, the diseases are caused by different viruses with different outcomes. COVID-19 is highly contagious with a higher mortality rate than the flu.

Afflicts only the aged and those with underlying health conditions: Older adults and patients with underlying health conditions are at increased risk of severe disease, butt the possibility of infection or serious illness is common to all.

Face masks can make one sick: Face masks are a safe and effective way to prevent the spread of airborne virus and there is no evidence to suggest that masks can make one sick.

COVID-19 is not real, it is a hoax: The infection is real, causing serious illness, and has affected millions of people worldwide, with tragic numbers of fatalities.

COVID-19 can be cured with traditional medications/treatments: Presently there is no cure for COVID-19, and traditional medications/treatments are only assumptions, with no scientific or medical evidence to back up claims of cure

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