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By Nabeel Ibrahim Published on 01/02/2020

How the coronavirus affects the body

The research team analysed the first 99 patients brought to the hospital.
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Nabeel Ibrahim

Published on: 01/02/2020

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With the coronavirus looming over our heads, panic has struck our communities. Most of us still have questions regarding the virus, such as how to treat it and who is more at risk.

Now, Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan has started to provide answers.

In a research published in the Lancet medical journal, the first 99 patients treated at the hospital were analyzed.


The symptoms

Pneumonia was common among all 99 patients. This meant that their lungs were inflamed and their alveoli- tiny sacs where oxygen is passed to the blood, were filling with water.

Other symptoms included:

  • 82 had fever
  • 81 had a cough
  • 31 had shortness of breath
  • 11 had muscle ache
  • 9 had confusion
  • 8 had a headache
  • 5 had a sore throat


The first two deaths

The first two patients that died were seemingly normal. However, they were long-term smokers, and as a result, their lungs were weakened.

One of them was a 61-year old man. He had severe pneumonia when he was first brought in.

Since his lungs were unable to provide enough oxygen to the rest of the body, a condition called acute respiratory distress, he was placed in a ventilator.

However, his lungs stopped working and his heart stopped beating. He died 11 days after being admitted.

The second patient was a 69-year old man. He also had acute respiratory distress, and was kept in an ECMO machine.

He died as a result of pneumonia and septic shock causing his blood pressure to fall.


Current Condition

As of 25th January, from the 99 patients:

  • 57 were still in hospital
  • 31 had been discharged
  • 11 had died
Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, China.

Chinese authorities report that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, where live animals are kept.

In addition, the research also stated that out of the 99 patients taken to the hospital, 49 visited the seafood market. Of these, 47 were workers.

Most of the 99 were middle-aged, with an average age of 56. Also, 67 of them were men.

Furthermore, most of the 99 were diagnosed with other diseases, and made them more vulnerable to the virus. The research paper suggested that this is because of their weaker immune functions. Of these patients:

  • 40 had a weak heart or damaged blood vessels due to conditions including heart disease, heart failure and stroke
  • A further 12 patients had diabetes
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