Cytokine Storms May Fuel Some COVID Deaths

Doctor Mukesh Kumar, PhD,  a virologist and immunologist at Georgia State University in Atlanta, studies how the body responds to infections.

In experiments in his high-security lab, he has been infecting cells and animals with SARS-CoV-2 to learn what happens.

A great article on WebMD by Brenda Goodman, MA, refers to Doctor Kumar in describing how a cytokine storm works.

One thing Dr. Kumar has observed is that the virus copies itself very quickly once it infects a cell.

“That’s a lot of stress on the cell in a small amount of time,” Kumar says.

The cell begins to send SOS signals.

“When any cell senses that there is something foreign, that there is something bad happening, the immediate response of the cell is to kill itself,” he says, “It’s a protective mechanism so it doesn’t spread to other cells.”

Certain kinds of cytokines trigger cell death. When you have many cells doing this at the same time, a lot of tissue can die. In COVID-19, that tissue is mostly in the lung. As the tissue breaks down, the walls of the lungs’ tiny air sacs become leaky and fill with fluid, causing pneumonia and starving the blood of oxygen.“Basically, most of your cells will die because of the cytokine storm. It eats away at the lung. They cannot recover,” Kumar says. “It seems to play a role in death in a large number of cases.”

When the lung becomes greatly damaged, respiratory distress syndrome follows. Then other organs start to fail.

Kumar says the amount of cytokines he sees being produced by cells in response to a SARS-CoV-2 infection is about 50 times higher than he has seen in response to Zika or West Nile virus infections.

See entire very informative article originally published on 17 April 2020:

The post Cytokine Storms May Fuel Some COVID Deaths appeared first on Ice Age Now.

via Ice Age Now

January 9, 2021 at 11:26AM

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