What is emphysema, and how does it relate to the coronavirus?


Christophe died on Thursday April 16. The singer had been hospitalized on March 26 before succumbing to a chronic inflammatory disease of the bronchi – from which he suffered for a long time – called emphysema.

What is pulmonary emphysema?

Pulmonary emphysema is defined as the progressive destruction of the alveoli and blood vessels of the lungs. This phenomenon leads to the formation of “bubbles” within the lungs. These bubbles take up space and do not allow proper oxygenation of the blood. Breathing becomes difficult. It is the ultimate and irreversible stage of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic respiratory disease that results in permanent obstruction of the airways.

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Pulmonary emphysema most often occurs after chronic inflammation of the lungs and bronchi. Smoking is a major risk factor. Symptoms of emphysema progress as the disease progresses. They usually start with a slight shortness of breath, especially on exertion. This breathing difficulty, initially punctual, eventually becomes chronic. In the most serious cases, the affected person is in a situation of chronic respiratory failure and must be hospitalized for the long term.

Risk of developing severe forms of Covid-19

While The Parisian claimed that Christophe had tested positive for coronavirus, the singer’s family and producer had announced at the end of March that they would not be able to confirm that it has tested positive for Covid-19 ″. If Christophe’s illness is not directly related to the coronavirus, it presents similar symptoms: cough, fatigue, breathing difficulties. It is also known that patients with COPD are at higher risk of developing a severe form of the new coronavirus.

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“Covid-19 will prioritize damage to COPD simply because a respiratory defect is the first casualty affected by respiratory disease”, explains Philippe Poncet, president of the France BPCO association, in an open letter aimed at shedding light on this still little-known disease, in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.

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