Ever since the COVID 19 pandemic shook the world, the diverse symptoms and effects of the infection are being studied and discussed. After months of research, it is now understood that the virus severely attacks lungs, the body’s defence mechanism, and also the blood vessels (depending on the severity). But since COVID 19 is basically a respiratory disease, it is important that people do not confuse it with other conditions like cold, cough and flu, and also know that COVID pneumonia is not to be mistaken with regular pneumonia.
So what exactly is COVID pneumonia, how severely can it affect patients’ lungs, and most importantly, how different is it from regular pneumonia? Dr Navneet Sood, pulmonary consultant, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital explains.
“COVID pneumonia is the critical manifestation of COVID infection. It may start with symptoms like fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing, chest pain etc. It is a condition in which the infection starts damaging the tissues of lower respiratory tract and results in conditions like shortness of breath and severe cough, which may lead a patient to the ventilator or supplemental oxygen under severe care condition” Dr Sood told indianexpress.com.
COVID-infected patients may or may not be affected by COVID pneumonia, as it occurs with diverse or no apparent symptoms. But the risk of its occurrence cannot be denied till a patient is infection-free. People who are prone to getting lung infection easily or are already suffering from any respiratory issues need to be extra careful.
People who are potentially at the risk of catching COVID pneumonia:
*Those with severe respiratory issues; children; people with weaker immunity system; elderly (around 60+ years of age); cancer patients and severe illness or any chronic diseases.
How is COVID pneumonia different from regular pneumonia?
At first instance, the apparent symptoms and effects of both may seem similar but there is a major difference. “Regular pneumonia is caused by bacteria or virus that inflames lungs, causes pus or phlegm in the lungs and the supply of oxygen is affected which causes shortness in breath. In the case of bacterial pneumonia, there are more chances of patients getting completely cured. But in the case of COVID pneumonia, it involves lung tissues as well which may lead to post-COVID complications,” he explains.
Why is why people suffering from pneumonia should get tested for COVID as well. Undoubtedly, COVID pneumonia is likely to be more severe as it affects the overall well-being of a person and even after recovery, the patient may need to undergo diverse medical tests, x-rays, and post-recovery follow-ups.
Follow every required precaution in order to avoid further spread of this virus, avoid self-medication and consult a doctor even in case of mild symptoms. Take good care of your overall well-being and lead a healthy lifestyle.