Do All People React to the Coronavirus the Same Way?

The short answer from a pulmonologist
man with coronavirus holding head while on couch at home

Q: Do all people react to the coronavirus in the same way?

A: People respond or react to diseases in different ways. It’s not uncommon, especially with older patients. When elderly people get an infection, it’s possible for them to become confused. This is something that we see a lot, especially when someone is admitted to the hospital. In some of these cases, it’s not the infection affecting the brain. It’s just how the brain responds to the presence of an infection. Sometimes, confusion can be the result of a urinary tract infection or another medical condition. When this happens, we’ll evaluate the patient for signs of meningitis or an infection that could be affecting the central nervous system.

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The dizziness that’s been associated with the virus can be a result of dehydration. When someone has a fever, they actually lose a lot of water just from the fever itself. Some people come to the hospital with infections and they’re actually very dehydrated. So, one of the first things that they need is an IV of fluids.

One coronavirus symptom that has been more common is the loss of the sense of smell. This signifies that the infection has caused inflammation in the nerve endings inside of the nose that are responsible for our sense of smell. But again, the major things that people should look for are the common signs like cough and fever. Not everyone will experience loss of smell, but not experiencing it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the virus. 

— Pulmonologist Humberto Choi, MD.

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