As health and science experts learn more about COVID-19 by studying patients infected by the virus, they are constantly learning more about how it attacks the body. This new coronavirus presented a challenge to the international medical community to learn as much as possible about it as it actively spread to the pandemic stage. The initial information used was from their prior knowledge of other coronaviruses such as MERS and SARS and they were able to diagnose and attempt to treat based on a few common symptoms that were present among the majority of positive COVID-19 cases. These symptoms tended to be a dry cough, difficulty breathing, and a high fever. Based on these symptoms, it was believed to be primarily a virus that attacks the respiratory system.
However, with the spread of the virus to a global pandemic, these experts are understanding more about this virus and how it attacks the body. More doctors worldwide are reporting that this virus does not only affect the respiratory system but attacks the body in many ways that were not initially understood. According to the Washington Post, “It attacks the heart, weakening its muscles and disrupting its critical rhythm. It savages kidneys so badly some hospitals have run short of dialysis equipment. It crawls along the nervous system, destroying taste and smell and occasionally reaching the brain. It creates blood clots that can kill with sudden efficiency and inflames blood vessels throughout the body.”
Some additional symptoms of COVID-19 may include:
- Brain strokes due to blood clots or neurological issues.
- Pink Eye
- Anosmia – Loss of smell or taste
- The virus can attack the lining of blood vessels leading to unexpected blood clotting.
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- The virus may clog and inflame the air sacs in the lungs, thus hampering breathing or cause pulmonary embolism from breakaway blood clots and micro clots.
- The virus can weaken the heart muscle and can cause dangerous arrhythmias and heart attacks due to small clots.
- Can damage the kidneys which are necessary to filter waste from blood thus requiring patients to be on dialysis.
- Some patients may experience “Covid toes” or fingers, which is a purple rash due to the attack on the blood vessels.
- The immune system can be severely impacted. This includes an overactive immune response that attacks healthy tissue.
To speak with a healthcare provider at Primary Medical Care Center & Urgent Care Clinic to assess any non-emergency health concerns, including suspected COVID-19 symptoms, please call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic. For life-threatening emergencies, always call 911. For coronavirus updates and resources, please visit our website at www.primarymed.com.