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Pneumonia in Covid-19 patients different from typical pneumonia

Date: 14 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Researchers have discovered that the pneumonia caused by covid-19 was different from the typical type of pneumonia.

 

Background

This is the first study in which scientists analysed immune cells from the lungs of Covid-19 pneumonia patients in a systematic manner and compared them to cells from patients with pneumonia from other viruses or bacteria.

 

Details

  • In pneumonia caused by bacteria and viruses like influenza, these agents can usually be controlled by antibiotics, or by the body’s immune system.

  • The virus responsible for Covid-19, however, does not rapidly infecting large regions of the lung like other viruses.

  • Instead, SARS-CoV-2 affects multiple small areas of the lung. The virus then hijacks the lungs’ own immune cells and uses them to spread across the lung over a period of many days or even weeks.

  • As the infection slowly moves across the lung, it leaves damage in its wake and continuously fuels the fever, low blood pressure, and damage to the kidneys, brain, heart, and other organs in patients with Covid-19.

  • The severe complications of Covid-19 compared with other pneumonias might be related to the long course of disease rather than more severe disease.

  • Researchers identified critical targets to treat severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia and lessen its damage. The targets are the immune cells: macrophages and T cells. 

  • The macrophages, which are typically charged with protecting the lung, can be infected by SARS-CoV-2 and can contribute to spreading the infection through the lung.

 

Mortality

  • The study also found reasons why the mortality among patients on a ventilator for Covid-19 was lower than patients on a ventilator due to regular pneumonia.

  • An intense conflagration in the lungs (regular pneumonia) has a higher risk of death. Those with Covid-19 pneumonia are sick for a long time, but the inflammation in their lungs is not as severe as regular pneumonia.