How does COVID-19 affect the lungs?

People with COVID-19 pneumonia experience changes in their lungs, including: inflammation that may be so severe, it damages the lungs’ alveoli fluid accumulation in the lungs gas exchange difficulties that make it hard to get enough oxygen or expel enough carbon dioxide fluid leaking out of blood vessels in the lungs

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. A person may have a dry cough, fever, muscle aches, and fatigue.

The virus can progress through the respiratory tract and into a person’s lungs. This causes inflammation and the air sacs, or alveoli, that can fill with fluid and pus. This progression then limitsTrusted Source a person’s ability to take in oxygen.

People with severe cases of pneumonia may have lungs that are so inflamed they cannot take in enough oxygen or expel enough carbon dioxide.

Continuous oxygen deprivation can damage many of the body’s organs, causing kidney failure, heart failure, and other life threatening conditions.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source, the most common diagnosis for severe COVID-19 is severe pneumonia. For people who do develop symptoms in the lungs, COVID-19 may be life threatening.

In China, doctors classified 81%Trusted Source of COVID-19 cases as mild.

These mild infections include mild cases of pneumonia. The remaining 19% of cases were more severe.


Pneumonia is a severe lung infection. In some people, it can be fatal, especially among the elderly and those with respiratory disorders. COVID-19, the disease the novel coronavirus causes, can spread to the lungs, causing pneumonia.

While many people recover, some develop severe pneumonia that does not respond well to treatment.

In this article, we look at the relationship between COVID-19 and pneumonia, the treatment available, and precautions a person should take.

Get Appointment