Covid Pneumonia: Symptoms, treatment and prevention
From symptoms to prevention to treatment – here's all that you need to know about covid Pneumonia. Know from the expert here.
Since the last two years of the inception of the coronavirus, it has showed a varied spectrum of presentation. It also has an array of symptoms – sometimes asymptomatic, sometimes having common cold to the conditions getting severe with Pneumonia. Speaking to HT Lifestyle, Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, Director and Unit Head, Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad said, “COVID pneumonia, being viral affects both lungs at the same time, and that’s why it at times is associated with rapid deterioration in oxygen level leading to respiratory failure and even death. When because of pneumonia, both the lungs are filled with secretions also called fluid, the air cannot enter the fluid filled lungs and the oxygen level starts falling. When the fluid is too much and even supplemental oxygen cannot fulfil the oxygen requirement, patient may need ventilatory support. Another common thing that has been noticed with covid pneumonia, especially the second wave was its speed of spread. It has the potential of complicating within a span of 1 or 2 days.”
He further added that the relationship between contracting covid and getting Pneumonia also varies on a range of factors - vaccination status, prior infection, comorbidities and the virus load. This also depends on the variant of the coronavirus. The delta variant of covid caused fatal Pneumonia while Omicron variant did not.
The symptoms of covid Pneumonia include dry cough, chest pain, occasional sputum production, high grade fever, breathlessness, panting, sweating, diaphoresis, shivering, loss of appetite, blood in sputum, and fatigue. Ravi Shekhar Jha further added that none of these symptoms are specific to covid Pneumonia – however, if a person starts developing these symptoms after testing positive for covid, it indicates that the person may have developed Pneumonia.
Since covid Pneumonia is a viral disease, antibiotics donot have a role in it. “There is no specific treatment of covid pneumonia. In some cases, your doctor may decide to use steroids, but again, steroids have its own side effect, so should be used with utmost caution,” said Ravi Shekhar Jha.
In case a person tests positive for covid, it is important to keep a check on the sugar level and other comorbidities of the body to avoid getting Pneumonia. Keeping a check on the oxygen level of the body and staying adequately hydrated also helps in staying healthy. Ravi Shekhar Jha recommended regular steam inhalation as well, to keep Pneumonia at bay.