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Is this coronavirus or pneumonia?

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Many people will get infected or sick during this outbreak. Most coronavirus infections will either have no symptoms or mild symptoms consistent with the flu. However, about 20% of people will be in the hospital for severe symptoms or complications of the outbreak.

For those that have more severe cases that require hospitalization coronavirus can get worse and one complication is pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia include a productive cough, shortness of breath, fever, fatigue, and chest pain .

The differencet between it and COVID-19 is usually determined clinically. If the patient with COVID-19 takes a turn for the worse with new fevers, respiratory deterioration and imaging on x-ray or CT scan, a pneumonia or another complication should be suspected.

A bacterial pneumonia and a viral infection look quite different on imaging.

For people with COVID-19, we don’t know who or how many will develop pneumonia. It’s important to keep vigilant because people can die from this infection. However, we know that severe COVID - 19 can damage lungs and make its victim more likely to get more infections in the lungs.

If this is the case, the healthcare team will start treatments aimed at targeting those complications. These can vary from antibiotics, antiviral steroid and extensive respiratory support.

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava on March 24, 2020
Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava on March 24, 2020

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