A Swiss pathologist examined the lungs of deceased corona patients and was able to draw conclusions about various courses of disease. The results may improve the treatment of Covid-19.
In view of the rapid increase in the number of infections, it becomes clear: any additional knowledge about the coronavirus is important. Researchers from Switzerland have now discovered in autopsies that Covid 19 patients die for two different reasons. The results were recently published in the English magazine “Nature Communications”.
Current study: two groups of corona deaths
Since the start of the corona pandemic, Dr. Kirsten Mertz, chief physician in the pathology department at Cantonal Baselland Hospital, and his team of people working in the Covid-19– the disease died. The researchers identified two groups among them: those patients who die early from a high viral load and those who later succumb to the damage caused by the crown infection.
In an interview with the Swiss news portal “Blick”, Mertz explains: “The first group dies at an early stage from an extremely high viral load in the lungs. Unfortunately, the immune system cannot suppress the virus.” The lung tissue of these deceased patients would be largely intact.
“In the second group, however, it looks completely different: the body of these patients can initially defeat the virus – but then massive damage to the lungs and other organs can be seen,” says the pathologist. These patients would only die after several days or weeks.
The body reacts very violently to the intruder. The virus can then subside, but the inflammation destroys tissues and organs. “It’s like when the dentist pulls out all your teeth because you have cavities. Then the caries goes away, but also your teeth ”, compares the doctor.
Pathologist calls coronavirus “killer”
When asked what the course of a serious illness depends on, Mertz replied in the interview “Blick”: “Safe with the dose”. The higher the viral load, the stronger the body’s immune response and more cells would be destroyed. The fact that a person infected with corona fears a severe course is not only due to factors such as previous illnesses and age. The level of viral load you carry can also be decisive. That’s why masks and distance rules are so useful.
Lungs: the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can affect all organs. (Icon image) (Source: sompong_tom / Getty Images)
Mertz also says, “This Coronavirus was and is a murderer. This will also be the case in the future. “There have been” small mutations “since spring, but overall the virus itself hasn’t changed much, according to the pathologist. And the risk groups are still the same – especially the elderly and those with previous illnesses, but no one has the chance. guaranteed to be spared a serious illness, says Mertz.
Lessons for the treatment of Covid-19
Pathological examinations in the study can make important contributions to Covid-19 research and therapy. By dividing corona deaths into two groups, it would be easier to estimate which drug treatment could be used at what time.
Patients at the beginning of the course are more likely to be treated with anti-inflammatories and antivirals. “The remediation, for example, the antiviral that Donald Trump received, certainly has a better effect if it is administered on time,” emphasizes Mertz.
The use of Remdesivir is permitted in Europe – the active ingredient, however, is highly controversial. In some patients it works, in others no improvement has been found. Only recently has it become public that the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies remdesivir as ineffective against Covid-19.
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