What Is Covid Pneumonia

Covid pneumonia is an infection that affects the lungs. It is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is commonly responsible for leading to Covid-19 or coronavirus. When the coronavirus symptoms worsen, it might manifest into covid pneumonia. It causes the accumulation of mucus or fluid in the air sacs of the lungs, which gives rise to inflammation and breathing problems. If medical attention is not received at the right time, the condition might exacerbate, which can have life-threatening consequences.   

Difference between covid-19 and covid pneumonia

Covid-19 or coronavirus is a respiratory illness, which occurs due to the infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. When this illness becomes severe and reaches the advanced stage, it leads to covid pneumonia. It causes fluid accumulation and pus formation in the lungs, due to which the person struggles to breathe. Hence, covid pneumonia is a different stage of covid-19. 

How covid pneumonia affects the lungs?

Covid pneumonia is an airborne infection. When an infected person sneezes or coughs and releases respiratory droplets in the air, the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads and infects other people that get exposed to the droplets. After exposure, the virus enters the respiratory tract, consisting of the nose, nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and finally lungs.    

The virus affects the lungs and their functioning, by settling in the airways and infecting them to cause damage. In response to the virus attack, your immune system kicks in and fights the virus. This causes inflammation, leading to the deposition of fluid or pus in the air sacs of the lungs, which gives rise to severe breathing difficulties. The infected individual may require immediate medical attention, otherwise, the breathing problems can worsen to the point where it becomes life-threatening.    

Symptoms of covid pneumonia

The symptoms of covid pneumonia are the same as Coronavirus, during the initial stage. Coronavirus worsens and progresses into covid pneumonia, which exacerbates the symptoms and makes the condition very serious. Some common symptoms of covid pneumonia are listed below:

  • Breathing difficulties or shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain

How does covid pneumonia spread?

It is a highly contagious infection, which spreads easily through the air or touch. Its transmission happens when you come too close to the person who has this infection or when you come into direct contact with a surface that is contaminated with the infectious pathogens that cause this infection. The infected person can spread it by coughing, sneezing, or simply exhaling, so, avoiding proximity will prevent the transmission of infection.

Who is more likely to develop covid pneumonia?

According to the information given on the Cleveland Clinic website, individuals that are prone to get infected with covid-19 or covid pneumonia and have a chance of developing complications are:

  • Chronic smokers
  • Infants and children
  • Those who had a bone marrow transplant
  • Have chronic health conditions, like cancer, HIV/AIDS, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, kidney or liver disease, hypertension, or heart disease.
  • Have pulmonary or lung diseases like tuberculosis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, etc.
  • Individuals above 65 years of age.
  • Obese individuals
  • Pregnant women
  • Have mental health conditions like depression and schizophrenia
  • Have neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc.   

Ways to prevent covid pneumonia

  • Avoid touching your face, mouth, and eyes, without washing your hands with a good quality sanitizer.
  • Wash your hands several times a day, especially after touching any surface or after shaking hands, because there is a high chance that the virus can get transmitted in this way.
  • Carry hand sanitizer wherever you go. Sanitize your hands often. This will ward off the germs that can lead to infection.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the people that have caught the covid pneumonia infection. Being too close to them leads to the transmission of infection via air.
  • Avoid smoking and tobacco. It increases the susceptibility of your lungs to catch the infection very easily. Smoking can worsen the condition quickly.

Covid pneumonia diagnosis

Some common types of diagnostic tests for covid pneumonia include:

Nasal swab

The healthcare provider will collect your nasal swab by inserting a long stick with a soft tip inside your nostril or your throat and send it to the lab for getting it tested.


You will be asked to get an X-ray scan or a CT scan of your lungs, which will reveal the signs of covid pneumonia.  

Pulse oximetry

It is a non-invasive monitor that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. This test checks the functioning of your lungs.

Sputum test

The healthcare provider will ask you to collect a sample of your phlegm by coughing and spitting it into a sample container. It will be sent to the lab to determine the infection.

Blood test

The presence of covid virus can be detected in the blood sample.

Covid pneumonia treatment  

This condition requires hospitalization. The damage caused to the lungs due to the infection can be treated with the help of some common treatments that are given below:

  • Antibiotic medications
  • Antiviral medications
  • IV fluids
  • Corticosteroids
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Mechanical ventilation

The diagnostic tests and treatment techniques are not limited to only these. These are just the common methods. For gaining more aware, you can talk to your healthcare provider. 

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