Burning chest sensation and COVID-19: an emergency symptom


COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a type of coronavirus that emerged in late 2019 called SARS-CoV-2.

Most people with COVID-19 develop mild illness. The elderly and people with diseases such as diabetes, cancer, or kidney disease are most at risk of developing severe symptoms. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths are among people over 65.

The coronavirus can attack your lungs and heart. It can cause chest pain or a burning sensation in your lungs. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists persistent pain or pressure in your chest as a sign that you need to seek emergency medical attention for COVID-19.

Read on to find out why COVID-19 sometimes causes chest pain and when you should see a doctor.

Medical emergency

Burns in the chest can have many potential causes ranging from mild to fatal.

Seek immediate medical attention if your chest pain is severe or accompanied by other worrying symptoms. It is especially important to see a doctor if you are at risk for heart or lung problems.

Go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 if you have the following symptoms:

  • pain that spreads to the back, shoulder, left arm, or jaw
  • confusion, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness
  • severe pain that comes on suddenly
  • burn that gets worse or does not respond to home treatment
  • rapid breathing or rapid heartbeat
  • a crushing or tight feeling in the chest

Chest pain or a burning sensation may be a sign of COVID-19. Chest discomfort may occur with shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Studies have shown that up to 17.7 percent of people with COVID-19 report chest pain.

People with severe COVID-19 are more likely to report breathing difficulties or chest pain than people with mild illness. Research found that chest pain is reported about three times more often in people who die from COVID-19 than in those who survive.

What causes chest pain?

This is thought this chest pain may be the result of damage to the heart or inflammation of the tissues around the lungs.

The coronavirus can enter your cells through a receptor called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 is found in many parts of your body, including your lungs, heart, and gastrointestinal tract. Once the virus enters your cells via ACE2, it can lead to cell damage and inflammation.

Heart damage

The release of molecules called inflammatory cytokines by your immune system can also damage heart cells. This phenomenon is called cytokine storm syndrome.

This is been suggested to contribute to left ventricular dysfunction (or heart muscle weakness) in people with COVID-19 who also have heart complications. Lung dysfunction and low oxygen levels can also contribute to heart damage.

People with a history of cardiovascular disease appear to be at high risk for heart damage. A July 2020 study found approximately 30 to 60 percent of people with heart damage have a history of coronary artery disease or high blood pressure.

Lung inflammation

The pleural space is an area between the layers of the sac that surrounds each of your lungs. Inflammatory molecules released into the pleural space can trigger pain receptors and potentially cause chest pain or burning.

COVID-19 can also lead to the development of pneumonia, which can cause chest pain. Pneumonia is an infection of the alveoli in your lungs. Your alveoli are the tiny air sacs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place.

Feeling a burning sensation in your throat and chest can be a symptom of COVID-19. COVID-19 has been linked to symptoms such as sore throat and acid reflux.

In one August 2020 study, the researchers found that in a group of 405 people with COVID-19, 61.2% had digestive symptoms. About a quarter of them had a history of gastrointestinal illness.

The most frequently reported digestive symptoms were:

Many other conditions besides COVID-19 can cause burns or pain in the throat and chest. Some potential causes include:

Some people with COVID-19 may experience a burning sensation in their stomach and chest together. Vomiting, acid reflux, and diarrhea can all contribute to discomfort in or around your stomach.

Some other potential causes include:

Medical emergency

the CDC lists the following as emergency symptoms of COVID-19. If you notice any of these symptoms or any other worrying thing, you should seek emergency medical attention:

  • difficulty in breathing
  • new confusion
  • inability to wake up or stay awake
  • pale gray or blue lips, nails and skin
  • persistent chest pain or pressure

Racial and ethnic differences in emergency symptoms

COVID-19 affects people of color differently. People of certain races and ethnicities have a higher risk of developing severe symptoms or dying from COVID-19.

One of the reasons is systemic racism and inequalities in health care, which increase the risk of developing underlying health problems, affect socioeconomic status and limit access to health care. quality. All of these factors play a role in determining the risk of certain groups.

the CDC reports the following risk ratios compared to non-Hispanic white people:

Researchers continue to examine the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines can potentially cause a burning sensation in the chest in rare cases. the most common side effects vaccines include:

  • pain
  • redness and swelling at the vaccination site
  • tired
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • fever
  • nausea

A Case study June 2021 describes a 56-year-old man who went to the emergency room after the onset of chest pain 3 days after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The chest pain disappeared after 4 hours. The man spent 7 days in the hospital and acute myocarditis was suspected. Acute myocarditis is inflammation of the muscle tissue of the heart.

Skin side effects of COVID-19 are relatively common. A Study April 2021 Looking at the side effects of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Czech healthcare workers, 5.2% of people experience at least one skin-related side effect.

A rash was the most common side effect, and the chest and trunk were the second most common area affected behind the arms.

A burning sensation in your chest has many possible causes. If your chest pain is persistent and accompanied by other symptoms of COVID-19, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.

If your pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, it’s also a good idea to see a doctor:

  • pain that spreads to the arms, neck, shoulders, or back
  • shortness of breath
  • extreme fatigue
  • fast or abnormal heartbeat
  • dizziness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pressure or burning in the middle or left of your chest
  • any other symptoms of concern

Chest pain or a burning sensation can potentially be a sign of COVID-19. Chest pain is more common in people with severe COVID-19 than in people with mild illness.

A burning sensation in the chest can have many other potential causes ranging from mild to life-threatening. Seeing an emergency doctor is essential if your chest pain is accompanied by warning signs of a heart attack, such as pain that spreads down your arm, neck, or back.

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