COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has sickened hundreds of thousands and killed large numbers of people worldwide. There are also several long-term effects of COVID.
It is largely regarded as life-threatening for its effects on the lungs. COVID-19 can also cause heart damage, even in people without underlying heart problems.
- Coronaviruses cause respiratory infections, so the lungs are usually impacted first.
- Early symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These emerge as soon as two days, or as long as 14 days, after exposure to the virus.
Damage can also emerge in other body parts, particularly during severe illness.
How Does COVID-19 Affect the Lungs?
As with other coronavirus illnesses — including SARS, MERS, and the common cold — COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. The lungs are usually impacted first.
Early symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These materialize as soon as two days, or as long as 14 days, after exposure to the virus.
What Other Organs Are Affected by COVID-19?
The lungs are the primary organs impacted by COVID-19. But in severe circumstances, the rest of the body can also be affected.
Harm to the organs isn’t always directly driven by the infection but can result from the body’s response to infection.
Stomach and Intestines
Some individuals with COVID-19 have reported gastrointestinal symptoms, such as queasiness or diarrhea. However, these symptoms are much less common than issues with the lungs.
While coronaviruses seem to have an easier time penetrating the body through the lungs, the intestines aren’t out of reach for these viruses.
Early studies pinpointed the viruses that cause SARS and MERS in intestinal tissue biopsies and stool samples.
Heart and Blood Vessels
COVID-19 can also impact the heart and blood vessels. COVID-19 may cause irregular heart rhythms, not enough blood getting to the