A comprehensive review of what we know about COVID-19 and how it works suggests that the virus has a unique infectious profile, which is why it can be so difficult to treat and why some people experience so-called “long COVID” difficulties. “. with significant health problems months after infection.
There is growing evidence that the virus infects both the upper and lower respiratory tract – unlike the “low pathogenic” human coronavirus subspecies, which typically settle in the upper respiratory tract and cause symptoms. common colds, or “highly pathogenic” viruses such as those that cause SARS and ARDS, which usually deposit in the lower respiratory tract.
Additionally, more frequent multi-organ impacts and blood clots, as well as an unusual immune-inflammatory response that is not usually associated with other similar viruses, mean that COVID-19 has developed a set of characteristics. particularly difficult.
While animal and experimental models imply that an overly aggressive immune-inflammatory response is a key factor, it appears that things work differently in humans: although inflammation is a factor, it is a unique deregulation of the blood. immune response that causes our body to mismanage the way it fights. the virus.
This may explain why some people suffer from “long term COVID” and suffer severe lung damage after infection.
Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Clinical Professor at Trinity College Dublin’s School of Medicine and Consultant in Critical Care Medicine at St James’s Hospital, is co-author of the journal which has just been published in a leading medical journal , The Lancet. He said:
“The emergence of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, has resulted in a health crisis unprecedented since the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Tragically, millions of people in the world are already deceased.
“Despite the international attention given to the virus, we are only now beginning to understand its intricacies. Based on a growing body of evidence, we propose that COVID-19 should be viewed as a new entity with a previously unknown infectious profile. It has its own characteristics and its distinct pathophysiology. and we have to be aware of this when we treat people.
“This does not mean that we should abandon existing best practice treatments based on our knowledge of other human coronaviruses, but an impartial and progressive assembly of the key pieces of the COVID-19 puzzle for different cohorts of patients – based on gender and age, ethnicity, pre-existing co-morbidities – this is what is needed to change existing treatment guidelines, in order to then provide the most adequate care to COVID-19 patients.
The review article was produced by the European Group for Sepsis Immunology (EGIS), of which Professor Martin-Loeches is one of the funding members. EGIS is a multidisciplinary group of scientists and physicians with a special interest in serious infections in patients admitted to intensive care.
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