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San Jose, CA
A 49-year-old male asked:

How does the ncov corona virus actually kill you? do your lungs close up like an asthma attack? do your lungs fill up with pus or fill up with mucus?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 55 years experience
Novel coronavirus: nCoV kills primarily the same way influenza sometimes does, by its effects on the lungs. These include pneumonia due to the virus itself; acute respiratory distress syndrome, a complication of many serious illnesses; and bacterial pneumonia, which commonly complicates almost any respiratory infection. All these can be fatal for the reasons you state, plus others.
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Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 55 years experience
Provided original answer
But also it is becoming apparent that most nCoV infections are mild and fatal cases uncommon. SARS was a lot worse, for example. In 2003, SARS killed 774 patients out of an estimated total of about 8100 cases, about 10%. So far, nCoV has killed around 900 out of an estimated total 40,000 (around 2%). For both diseases, and for flu, most deaths occur in people with other serious health problems.
Feb 10, 2020
Last updated Feb 15, 2020


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