How COVID-19 kills

coronavirus shortness of breath

Nine of every 10 students worldwide shut out of their schools at one point. More than 7 million flights grounded. Countless moments of celebration and sorrow — weddings and graduations, baby showers and funerals — put off, reconfigured or abandoned because of worries about safety.

In short, the coronavirus has rescripted nearly every moment of daily life. And fighting it — whether by searching for a vaccine or seeking to protect family — takes knowing the enemy. It’s the essential first step in what could be an extended quest for some version of normalcy.

Scientists are getting a handle on the many ways the disease affects the body, but it’s a scramble.

The lungs are, indeed, ground zero. Many patients find themselves gasping for breath, unable to say more than a word or two.

Related article:  Infographic: Where does the coronavirus fit in humanity's long history of plagues and influenza pandemics?
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[It leaves hearts] flaccid and unable to pump enough blood. Some younger people have arrived in emergency rooms suffering strokes caused by blood clotting, another calling card.

Kidneys and livers fail in some patients and blood clots put limbs at risk of amputation. Some patients hallucinate or have trouble maintaining balance. Some get a treatable paralysis in arms or legs.

With states and countries reopening in the face of an ongoing pandemic, it’s even more crucial to find solutions.

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