Pulmonary and critical care doctor, Dr Cedric ‘Jamie’ Rutland, used CAT (computerized axial tomography) scans to take the images of the lungs. Coronavirus can spark an overreaction in the immune system, which can result in lungs that are too full of fluid to supply the body with oxygen. It is known that almost all the serious consequences of COVID-19 feature pneumonia.
Lungs which become filled with inflammatory material are not able to get enough oxygen into the bloodstream, which in turn, reduces the body’s ability to get rid of carbon dioxide. Speaking to Fox National, Dr Cedric said: “The virus will enter through your trachea into your lung and it binds to a certain receptor.
“Once it binds to that receptor, your immune system gets alarmed… so now you get all these cells that are going to rush to your lung.
“And when these cells rush to your lung, they start to fill your lung up with cells and fluid.
“You don’t get oxygen in your bloodstream and you become extremely short of breath.
“That’s what’s so dangerous about this disease.”
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Usually, lungs appear black in CAT scan, but the images of the lungs in coronavirus patients are white.
This is because the virus causes an infiltration of cells into the lungs, which causes the lungs to appear white on the scans.
The Doctor added: “The lungs are supposed to be black.
“We know that the infiltration of cells into the [lungs] causes a reduction of your gas exchange, so you get really short of breath.
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“You can’t absorb that oxygen.
“But in this case, you can see these white areas of the lung, first starting out with ground-glass opacity – very light grey area – and then as the density becomes more thick and as the cell infiltration becomes increased, you get more whiteness.”
For some people suffering from COVID-19, breathing problems can become serious enough for patients to require treatment at a hospital with oxygen or a ventilator.
The US has seen more than 62,000 deaths as the country struggles to contain the infection.
There have been more than 26,000 deaths in the UK, but the Government have announced that they believe the country to be over the peak of the pandemic.
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