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Here’s what coronavirus does to the body

From blood storms to honeycomb lungs, here’s an organ-by-organ look at how COVID-19 harms humans.

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This photo taken on February 3, 2020 shows a doctor looking at a lung CT scan while making his rounds at a ward of a quarantine zone in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in China's central Hubei Province. The number of total infections has surpassed 64,000 globally as of February 14.

Much remains unknown about the novel coronavirus ripping through China, but one thing is certain. The disease can cast a storm over the whole human body.

Such has been the nature of past zoonotic coronaviruses, ones that hopped from animals to humans like SARS and MERS. Unlike their common-cold-causing cousins, these emergent coronaviruses can spark a viral-induced fire throughout many of a person’s organs, and the new disease—dubbed "COVID-19" by the World Health Organization—is no exception when it is severe.

That helps explain why the COVID-19 epidemic has killed more than 1,800 people, surpassing the SARS death toll in a matter of weeks. While the death rate for COVID-19 appears to be a fifth of SARS, the novel coronavirus has spread faster.

Confirmed cases rose to more than 60,000 last Thursday, nearly a 50 percent jump relative to the prior day, and the tally has since increased by another 13,000. This leap reflects a change in the way Chinese authorities are diagnosing infections instead of a massive shift in the scope of the outbreak. Rather than wait for patients to...

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