What happens in the lungs when COVID19 strikes?
A local pulmonologist defines what happens in the body when infected with the coronavirus.
Doctor Paul Harris is a pulmonologists at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids and he says the exposure to the virus begins in the mouth, the eyes and the nose.
“When you are exposed to the virus, the virus gets in through one of those entrances and it needs to replicate a little bit and when it replicates is when you start having more symptoms and that why it can take 7 to 14 days for the symptoms to manifest.”
The symptoms can range from mild to severe and how they show up depends on how prepared your body is to fight off the virus.
“The virus gets in to the throat and the lungs and causes tremendous inflammation and when inflammation occurs the lungs can’t transfer oxygen as well and then you get short of breath and your oxygen levels decrease.”
As the virus spreads, Harris says he doesn’t believe we are prepared for what is to come but reminds us the only way to keep the virus from spreading is by washing our hands and social distancing.