Professor of Chest Diseases Department of Memorial Bahçelievler Hospital. Dr. Levent Dalar gave information about the viruses that cause upper and lower respiratory tract diseases and explained the ways to have a healthy respiratory system.
It can be asymptomatic or cause severe pneumonia.
Viruses usually cause disease in the upper respiratory tract, but can also cause pneumonia and respiratory distress by holding the lower respiratory tract. Diseases caused by viruses may not always have the same effect on everyone. Sometimes they do not cause any illness. Sometimes simple muscle and joint pains that last for a few days, mild diarrhea may occur with a mild nasal discharge, and sometimes severe pictures accompanied by fever and cough can be seen. For example, rhinoviruses tend to be confined to the upper airway only, but like swine flu, "Influenza A" can cause fatal pneumonia.
Attention for those who are sensitive to respiratory system diseases!
The groups that are susceptible to respiratory diseases as a result of the deterioration of the defense cells in the cover that protect the respiratory tract due to environmental factors are listed as follows:
- Those with congenital immune system disorders,
- Those with airway diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, emphysema,
- Those with genetic diseases that cause malnutrition,
- Those who use cigarettes and tobacco products,
- Those exposed to intense air pollution,
- Those working in occupational environments such as heavy metal and textile work,
- Obesity patients
Step by step the effects of viruses on the body ...
If the body's defense cells cannot control the virus, the damage increases and respiratory failure deepens. The patient first notices the stages of taking the virus into the body with a runny nose and mild weakness. As the virus starts to multiply, sore throat, increase in fatigue, mild dry cough and fever are observed. When it reaches the lungs, the feeling of pressure and pain in the chest, severe cough and shortness of breath appear as respiratory failure as the lung damage progresses.
There are various tests to identify the genetics of the virus.
Most of the time, in order to prevent the unnecessary use of expensive tests, virus identification is not used in simple infections, but polymerase chain replication tests (PCR) tests are used to identify the genetic material of the virus in patients with immune deficiency, severe prognosis, or in patients with no results from treatment. With the developing technology, thanks to these tests, many factors can now be identified in a short time. There are different molecules that can be used specific to the type of virus that are effective in the treatment, but rapid and early use is important to be effective. For this reason, latex-based rapid screening tests are used for influenza, for example. However, tests are also important in terms of the rapid and early treatment of the damage caused by the virus.
May have consequences up to a lung transplant
Viruses can cause many serious problems, from a mild shortness of breath to the need for intensive care and machine support, depending on lung involvement. Even if virus control is achieved, if respiratory failure persists due to the damage it causes, it may result in lung transplantation, especially in young individuals. Transplantation is not possible while the virus infection is ongoing. Viral pneumonia requiring transplantation is rare and it must be confirmed that many factors are suitable for transplantation.
Covid-19 more contagious than SARS and MERS
Although the genetic codes of all SARS, MERS and Covid-19 diseases are partially different, they are all caused by coronavirus. The common feature of these diseases caused by viruses is that they cause severe respiratory failure that can lead to death and are highly contagious. The main feature of Covid-19 that differs from SARS and MERS is that it is much more contagious than others. The infectious rate of the MERS virus is less than 1 percent, and the infectious rate of SARS and Covid-19 is about 2.5-3 percent. The main difference of MERS from the other two viruses is that they have very high lethality rates. 10 out of 4 people who get the disease die.
Many factors can cause mutation
Viruses basically consist of genetic material called DNA and RNA and reproduce by dividing thousands of times in a suitable environment. Viruses that cause pneumonia are usually RNA viruses. During these divisions called replication, my genetic sequence may differ and the behavior of the virus changes. Some external factors can also cause mutation in the virus, in the same way, the behavior and disease strength of the virus changes.
6 rules of being protected from viruses and having a healthy respiratory system
- The basic condition for having a healthy breathing system is to breathe healthy air. For this reason, it is important to live in cities with high clean air values as much as possible, and even if this is not possible, it is important to choose regions with clean air for various opportunities and short-term holidays.
- It is necessary to avoid smoking and tobacco products.
- It is important to take action and take an active stance against increasing air pollution and climate change.
- Planned and regular sports should be turned into a lifestyle. Slow pace middle distance running at least 3 days a week is an excellent lifestyle choice for both heart and lung health.
- Adding meditation and breathing exercises (yoga or tai-chi) to sports activities will significantly increase lung capacity.
- Another essential element is nutrition. Cabbage, all colors of vegetables and fruits, rosehip, carob teas and antioxidants help prevent lung damage and aging of the lung and repair lungs.