COVID symptoms: Does COVID cause inflammation in the body?

The novel coronavirus can infect immune cells that will trigger a massive inflammatory response and create severe COVID-19 symptoms, according to new research.

Advertisement

Details: Two new studies – one published in the journal Nature and another available on a preprint server – found that the immune cells infected by the coronavirus can cause severe inflammation.

  • Research since the beginning of the Pandemic has Suggested inflammation creates respiratory issues and organ damage.
  • Now, the researchers found that coronavirus can infect white blood cells – macrophages in the lungs, and monocytes in the blood – which then trigger the inflammation.

Behind the scenes: The cells normally absorb the virus and treat it so that the virus doesn’t infect other cells, per CNN.

  • The novel coronavirus, though, “Escapes into the body of the cell, where it starts making copies of itself,” per CNN.
  • So when a virus infects defense cells, it sets off alarms in the body. From there, the inflammasomes emerge and start to kill off those cells in a process called pyroptosis.

What they said: “The viruses don’t just get taken up, but once they get taken up, the virus starts replicating, so that was surprising,” research leader Dr. Judith Lieberman, a pediatric immunologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, told CNN.

  • “When cells die by pyroptosis, they release all kinds of inflammatory proteins that cause fever and summon more immune cells to the site,” Lieberman told CNN.
  • “We don’t have any way of treating that once it gets started. It’s just a sort of like a little fire. It spreads and explodes and no fire extinguisher is capable of putting it out, ”she said, per CNN.

Worth noting: The researchers found that the coronavirus could not produce new viruses as it spread throughout people, according to Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.

  • In fact, “the cells died quickly from pyroptosis before new viruses could fully form,” according to GenEng News.


Advertisement

What do you think?

Advertisement

Recalled Experiences Surrounding Death: More Than Hallucinations?

People who used ‘magic mushrooms’ less likely to develop opioid use disorder, study finds