Dr Faheem Younous, Chief of Infectious Diseases at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, US, and a frontline Covid warrior, recently used the term 'Air Hunger' in one of his tweets while describing the main symptom of COVID-19 patients. Emphasising on the coronavirus crisis, he wrote, "I've worked in a hospital for 25-years. Never before, have I seen >50 patients admitted to our hospital with ONE diagnosis: COVID. ONE symptom: air hunger.
I've worked in a hospital for 25-years. Never before, have I seen >50 patients admitted to our hospital with ONE diagnosis: COVID. ONE symptom: air hunger.
This "hoax" is unlike anything we've ever seen before.
You don't want to experience it to believe it.- Faheem Younus, MD (@FaheemYounus) November 30, 2020
However, there were many who did not quite get the term. So, what is Air Hunger?
The coronavirus is known to cause respiratory infection in patients who are affected by it. Air Hunger is a symptom of the damage done to the lungs by the infection brought on by COVID-19. Air Hunger is essentially a feeling of severe breathlessness as a result of poorly functioning lungs.
Harvard Medical School describes Air Hunger as, "When the drive to breathe is very high, as it might be with exercise or an infection, a person often develops a sensation of a strong urge to breathe or a feeling of severe breathlessness, known as air hunger."
According to Christopher M. Worsham, MD, research fellow in the Harvard Medical School department of health care policy, Air Hunger is caused by an increase in medullary respiratory drive extended to the cerebral cortex and made better by tidal inflation of the lungs. Patients suffering from air hunger often need to be put on mechanical ventilators for treatment. Some of the other symptoms of coronavirus are believed to be lack of smell and taste.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in the US is increasing at a brisk pace. The total number of cases has reached 13.4 million with 266,895 COVID-19 related deaths. The US is currently the country with the most number of COVID-19 cases in the world.