The Wuhan Virus attacks much more than just the lungs in those who become critically ill. Its “ferocity is breathtaking and humbling.”
There is an informative Science Mag. article on the progress of the Wuhan virus through the human body, How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes. We have known from the start that if a person has a weakened immune system because of age or otherwise, or a specific co-morbidity of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and/or heart disease, the Wuhan virus can be devastating, if not fatal. Curiously, the virus seems to pass-over individuals with other chronic conditions, such as asthmatics. We are a long way from having all the answers, though we are rapidly identifying the known unknowns.
The virus was originally portrayed as primarily attacking the lungs with a pneumonia-like illness. But now we know that the virus does far more. The article attempts to trace the myriad of ways in which the virus presents in those individuals who become seriously ill. As one cardiologist is quoted, “its ferocity is breathtaking and humbling.”
What follows is a snapshot of the fast-evolving understanding of how the virus attacks cells around the body, especially in the roughly 5% of patients who become critically ill. Despite the more than 1000 papers now spilling into journals and onto preprint servers every week, a clear picture is elusive, as the virus acts like no pathogen humanity has ever seen. Without larger, prospective controlled studies that are only now being launched, scientists must pull information from small studies and case reports, often published at warp speed and not yet peer reviewed. “We need to keep a very open mind as this phenomenon goes forward,” says Nancy Reau, a liver transplant physician who has been treating COVID-19 patients at Rush University Medical Center. “We are still learning.” . . .
Do read the entire article.