Updated: Mar 8, 2020
Chinese doctors say coronavirus ‘like a combination of SARS and AIDS’, can cause irreversible lung damage. Coronavirus update: Sun exposure can keep you safe, says Unicef
Chinese doctors say coronavirus ‘like a combination of SARS and AIDS’, can cause irreversible lung damage
Chinese doctors say autopsies of coronavirus patients suggest the deadly illness is “like a combination of SARS and AIDS” that can cause “irreversible” lung damage.
Chinese doctors say autopsies of coronavirus victims suggest the deadly illness is “like a combination of SARS and AIDS” that can cause “irreversible” lung damage even if the patient recovers.
The grim finding was reported on by Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times on Friday, after a paper by Wuhan doctors published in the Journal of Forensic Medicine earlier in the week went viral on Chinese social media.
“The influence of COVID-19 on the human body is like a combination of SARS and AIDS as it damages both the lungs and immune systems,” Peng Zhiyong, director of the intensive care unit of the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, told the Global Times.
Dr Peng was commenting on the paper by Liu Liang, a forensic specialist from the Tongji Medical College at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, whose team had conducted nine autopsies of coronavirus patients as of February 24.
“The autopsy results Liu shared inspired me a lot. Based on the results, I think the most important thing now is to take measures at an early stage of the disease to protect patients’ lungs from irreversible fibrosis,” Dr Peng told the outlet.
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Pulmonary fibrosis is permanent scarring of the lung tissue that can leave the patient chronically out of breath. The paper described an autopsy conducted on an 85-year-old man. It said there was apparent damage to the patient’s lungs.
Excess production of mucus spilt out of the alveoli — tiny air sacs in the lungs that absorb oxygen — indicating COVID-19 “causes an inflammation response that damages deep airways and pulmonary alveoli”.
According to the Global Times, the paper said the patient exhibited similar pathological changes to those caused by SARS and MERS. Fibrosis was “not as serious as was seen in SARS patients, but an exudative reaction was more apparent, possibly due to the short course of his disease”.
The paper did not say that all coronavirus patients will suffer permanent fibrosis.
An earlier study published in The Lancet which examined the CT scans of 81 patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan found the imagery “indicated the appearance of interstitial changes, suggesting the development of fibrosis”.
“However, since the natural history of COVID-19 pneumonia is yet to be fully explored, it is too early to label these lung changes as irreversible fibrosis,” the researchers wrote.
It comes as a group of Chinese scientists warn that the virus has mutated into a more aggressive strain. In a new study published in the National Science Review, researchers suggested that after COVID-19 crossed into humans, the original strain evolved into a second type and both of these are now circulating.
More than 95,000 cases of the disease have been confirmed worldwide and over 3000 people have died, including two in Australia, where there are currently 50 confirmed cases.
Coronavirus update: Sun exposure can keep you safe
COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus is fast emerging as the disease ‘X’ that many feared will morph into a global contagion. With cases increases at an alarming rate across the world, governments are imposing restrictions and tightening rules to contain the epidemic. India is no different.
The number of coronavirus cases have jumped in India from 6 to 28 in a single day. With hundreds more under quarantine, the country readies itself to deal with a major outbreak. With no cure or a vaccine in sight for quite some time to come, prevention may be the only option out for everybody at this time. Apart from the usual measure of avoiding crowds and washing hands, Unicef has come out with a few other methods that you can adopt to keep yourself safe. Let us take a look at these measures.
Guidelines to help you be safe in a coronavirus outbreak
The corona virus is large with a cell diameter of 400-500 micro. Wearing a mask is an effective preventive measure. It will easily be able to keep the virus out.
The virus does not remain suspended in air. Rather it falls to the ground. Therefore, you need not worry about aerial transmission.
If it falls on any metal surface, it remains there for about twelve hours. This makes washing of hands very, very important. And washing with soap and water is enough.
If it falls on fabric, it survives for nine hours. But washing your clothes or getting out in the sun can be enough to kill the coronavirus.
The coronavirus can survive on your hands for ten minutes. But if you use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, it will kill the germs.
The coronavirus cannot survive exposure to temperature of 26-27 °C and above. It cannot survive hot climate.
If you dink hot water and expose yourself to the sun, it will do the trick.
Avoid eating ice cream and any other cold food.
Gargle with warm and salt water. This will kill the germs present in your tonsils and prevent it from migrating to your lungs.