Coronavirus: What Happens When You Get Infected?

Coronavirus: What Happens When You Get Infected?

WebMD is doing a great job covering the Age of Corona, serving up the real nitty-gritty minus any fluff. The following is another story from the editors about what goes down in your body when you get infected.

There are many types of coronaviruses. Some give you the common cold. The new coronavirus responsible for the 2019-2020 pandemic causes an illness called COVID-19.

Here’s how it attacks your body.

Viruses infect your body by latching onto and entering healthy cells. Once inside, the invader makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout your body.

The coronavirus gains entry through your eyes, nose, or mouth. It then grabs onto your cells by latching its spikey surface proteins to receptors on normal cells, especially those in your lungs.

Specifically, the viral proteins bust into cells through the ACE2 receptors. Once inside, the coronavirus hijacks your healthy cells and takes over command. Eventually, they kill some of the healthy cells.

What Happens After an Infection

COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, starts in your respiratory tract. That’s the airway between your mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. It’s the same place that the common cold attacks. But COVID-19 can become more serious than the common cold because it is more likely to get deeper into your respiratory tract, including into your lungs. That’s because your lower airways have more ACE2 receptors.

When your body spots the virus, your immune system counterattacks. One sign of that is a fever. You might have a cough, too. That’s your body’s usual response to something that’s in the airways that shouldn’t be.

For most people, the symptoms end here. More than 8 in 10 cases are mild. But for some, the infection gets more severe…

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