The Guardian

What happens to people's lungs when they get coronavirus?

Respiratory physician John Wilson explains the range of Covid-19 impacts, from no symptoms to severe illness featuring pneumoniaCoronavirus – latest global updatesAustralia coronavirus live blogSee all our coronavirus coverage
Respiratory physician John Wilson explains the range of Covid-19 impacts. This image shows a CT scan from a man with Covid-19. Pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus can show up as distinctive hazy patches on the outer edges of the lungs, indicated by arrows. Photograph: Mount Sinai Hospital/AP

What became known as Covid-19, or the coronavirus, started in late 2019 as a cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause. The cause of the pneumonia was found to be a new virus – severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or Sars-CoV-2. The illness caused by the virus is Covid-19.

Now declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the majority of people who contract Covid-19 suffer only mild, cold-like symptoms.

WHO says about 80% of people with Covid-19 recover without needing any specialist treatment. Only about one person in six

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