Most individuals who contract COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms such as coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. But in some cases, people with COVID-19 also develop severe pneumonia in both lungs. COVID-19 pneumonia is a severe illness that can be fatal or cause long-term health issues.
What is COVID-19 Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is caused when a bacterial or viral infection leads to significant damage and inflammation in the lungs. This can destroy cells and tissue that line the air sacs in your lungs. These sacs are where the oxygen you breathe is processed and delivered to your blood. Pneumonia also causes tissue to break off and clog your lungs. The walls of the sacs can also thicken, making it very hard for you to breathe. Regardless of the cause, pneumonia can become very serious, even life-threatening. For COVID pneumonia, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 cause the damage to the lungs.
If your COVID-19 infection begins developing into pneumonia, you may notice things like:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Heavy sweating
How Common is COVID-19 Pneumonia?
Around 15% of COVID-19 cases become severe, and these individuals need oxygen treatment in a hospital. About 5% develop acute infections and need a ventilator. COVID-19 pneumonia often occurs in both lungs, not just one lung or the other. Additionally, the widespread inflammation in some people with COVID-19 can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) — a serious type of lung failure.
Need Your COVID-19 Booster and Pneumonia Vaccine?
Like other respiratory illnesses, COVID-19 can cause lasting lung damage. However, getting your COVID-19 and pneumonia vaccinations can significantly reduce your risk of COVID-19 pneumonia. If you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19 and are interested in pneumonia vaccine options, clinical research trials are now enrolling.
Charlottesville Medical Research is now looking for participants who’ve received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be a part of a pneumonia vaccine clinical study. To learn more, call us at 434-817-2442, or visit our website today!