COVID-19 Does This Horrifying Thing to Your Body, Says Medical Examiner

Even asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus experience this lasting damage.

As if the sharp rise in new cases of COVID-19 across the country wasn't enough cause for alarm, more research is emerging that details what the coronavirus actually does to those who contract it. New reports suggest lasting long-term effects may include weakened respiratory systems and even brain damage. One prominent doctor, from Oxford University, recently warned in the British Medical Journal that for many who survive the virus, the threat is "very real" that you "may never regain your previous health."

But in the latest worrisome dispatch from the medical front lines, a Florida-based medical examiner didn't mince any words when he described the effects of coronavirus on the respiratory system to "My gosh, I really don't know how to say it without being gruesome—it just destroys the lungs," said Jon Thogmartin, M.D., the medical examiner for the Pinellas and Pasco County. "When the person dies, you can find lungs that don't look and feel like lungs anymore."

Equally as frightening is the toll that COVID-19 takes on the lungs of seemingly healthy asymptomatic carriers. In his interview, Thogmartin referenced a recent study conducted by Scripps Research, which analyzed CT scans of passengers who contracted the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The researchers found "significant lung abnormalities" among those who didn't show any symptoms.

"When [we] looked at these CT scans, it's hazy—[it] looks like you're looking through a dirty piece of glass," a scientist named Daniel Oran, A.M., who took part in the Scripps study, told KSWB-TV in San Diego, CA. "What that means is there's something abnormal about the lungs."

For his part, Thogmartin shared his "gruesome" details to constituents in a state that is struggling with the notion of reintroducing shelter-at-home guidelines as a result of the sharp increase in cases since Memorial Day weekend. Florida was a state that aggressively reopened and even ignored many of the guidelines put forth by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

"This isn't the flu; this isn't anything we know," warned Dr. Thogmartin to Pinellas commissioners earlier this week, as his office was presenting a post-mortem examination of infected patients with COVID-19 in the county. And for more pressing COVID-19 numbers you need to know about, Here Are the States Where Coronavirus Numbers Are Up Over 75 Percent.

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