Home / Health / Coronavirus: What causes COVID-pneumonia?

Coronavirus: What causes COVID-pneumonia?

While 80% of cases are mild or moderate, severe cases can take a hit on the body’s vital functioning. One feared complication being, pneumonia.

Pneumonia is a life-threatening disorder which impacts the lungs. Health experts say that pneumonia can be a fatality associated with severe cases of COVID-19, which could impact anyone. What’s more striking is that pneumonia-like complications seem to have higher precedence among men suffering from COVID-19 than women.

We explain to you the relation between COVID-19 and pneumonia, and what makes it potentially threatening for COVID patients, reports Times of India.

What causes pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a complication which is caused due to inflammation in the air sacs present inside the lungs. The complication can lead to fluid buildup inside the cavity, which can make it harder for a person to breath. Shortness of breath, coughing, chest pains, fatigue and fever can be commonly experienced with pneumonia-like complications.

How does pneumonia manifest with COVID-19?

We already know that COVID is a respiratory illness. It has one of the major impacts on the respiratory tract and the lungs.

Pneumonia is one such complication which can happen with COVID, and, if not attended in time, turn fatal.

It has been observed that the SARS-COV-2 virus settles in the respiratory tract and damages the alveoli, which are the tiny air sacs present along the linings to transfer oxygen to the blood vessels, and then onto the other organs in the body.

When a person is infected by the virus, it impairs and blocks the lung walls and decreases blood supply to the organs. In such a situation, the body is forced to compensate for the deficit and increase oxygen intake. As the air sacs are damaged, there is an influx of liquid which is mostly inflamed cells and protein and this fluid build-up leads to pneumonia. This is known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), which then leads to pneumonia when lung functioning is compromised.

Pneumonia happens when the body’s immunity isn’t equipped enough to evade the virus. For a person who already has compromised immunity, or has a pre-existing respiratory problem, the battle against the virus gets harder and fatal pneumonia sets in.