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What does Covid-19 do to the human body?

The medical community is still learning what happens to the body after it’s infected with this new coronavirus, but some patterns are emerging.

Covid-19 is a respiratory virus. That means it enters and invades the body’s respiratory system that runs from your nose to your lungs. There are other, less severe, types of respiratory viruses including rhinoviruses and influenza (the flu). These viruses prefer the respiratory tract because it offers them a wet and warm environment to thrive.

Some respiratory viruses stay in the upper tract, from the nose to the throat. Others make it down to the lungs. Covid-19, unfortunately, appears to be able to do both. The infection tends to begin in the nose where the virus binds to a protein on the body’s cells. From there, the virus basically hijacks these cells to copy itself. As the virus grows, these copies may invade the cells that line the respiratory tract and begin to cause damage.

The body’s immune system then scrambles to deal with this new, never-before-seen virus. If the virus stays within the upper respiratory tract, you may experience fever, a sore throat, a dry cough, and/or nasal congestion. On the other hand, many people have no symptoms at all.


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