How COVID-19 affects the body: 10 observations from physicians

Physicians and researchers now widely recognize that COVID-19 is a highly unpredictable viral illness that attacks more than just lungs, according to The Washington Post.

Over the past four months, health agencies have continually updated care recommendations as the world's understanding of the virus evolves. Physicians on the front lines have also identified a wide range of symptoms in patients that stray from traditional respiratory illnesses.  

"No one was expecting a disease that would not fit the pattern of pneumonia and respiratory illness," David Reich, MD, a cardiac anesthesiologist and president of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told the Post.

The publication outlined 10 symptoms physicians have spotted, sorted by afflicted body part:

1. Brain: Strokes from blood clots, neurological issues

2. Eyes: Pinkeye

3. Nose: Loss of smell and taste

4. Blood: Unexpected clotting as virus attacks lining of blood vessels

5. Gastrointestinal system: Vomiting and diarrhea

6. Lungs: Difficulty breathing, pulmonary embolism from breakaway clots

7. Heart: Weakened heart muscles, arrhythmias and heart attacks from small clots

8. Kidneys: Damage to kidney structures that filter waste from blood, which often requires dialysis

9. Skin: A purple rash on toes or fingers from the virus attacking blood vessels

10. Immune system: An overactive immune response that attacks healthy tissue, among other widespread effects

To view the full report, click here.


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