Coronavirus cases reach a “tipping point” where patients start to experience symptoms that indicate that they’re in danger of dying, according to a report.
The patients who are at risk of dying may see the virus spread to their lungs, which can prevent their other vital organs from getting the oxygen needed to fight the infection, Bloomberg reported.
“When you get a bad, overwhelming infection, everything starts to fall apart in a cascade,” said David Morens with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “You pass the tipping point where everything is going downhill and, at some point, you can’t get it back.”
Bruce Aylard, assistant director-general of the World Health Organization, said the escalation from mild to severe phases of the illness can occur “very, very quickly,” the report said.
The so-called tipping point likely occurs earlier in older patients or those who have underlying health issues — who have been reported to be at higher risk of dying from the illness, the outlet reported.
Experts estimate there’s around 10 to 15% of patients whose cases become severe. Of that group, there’s another 15 to 20% of cases that then progress to critical, Bloomberg reported.