COVID-19 must be considered as a new entity with a previously unknown infectious profile, researchers at Trinity College Dublin have revealed a comprehensive review on why it can be so hard to treat and why some people are struggling with some significant health issues even after months of infection.
There is a piece of increasing evidence that the COVID-19 virus infects both the upper and lower respiratory tracts, unlike ‘low pathogenic’ human coronavirus sub-species, which typically settle in the upper respiratory tract and cause cold-like symptoms, or ‘high pathogenic’ viruses such as those that cause SARS and ARDS, which typically settle in the lower respiratory tract.
COVID-19 has evolved with a uniquely challenging set of characteristics and the biggest evidence for it are more frequent multi-organ impacts, and blood clots, and an unusual immune-inflammatory response not commonly associated with similar viruses.
While animal and experimental models show an overly aggressive immune-inflammatory response is a key driver, in humans things work differently although inflammation is a factor it is a unique dysregulation of the immune response that causes human bodies to mismanage the way they fight the virus. This is the reason why some people have prolonged lung infection problems despite the virus leaving their bodies for months.
“The emergence of SARS-COV-2, which causes COVID-19, has resulted in a health crisis not witnessed since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Based on growing evidence we propose that COVID-19 should be perceived as a new entity with a previously unknown infectious profile. It has its own characteristics and distinct pathophysiology and we need to be aware of this when treating people.”
“That doesn’t mean we should abandon existing best-practice treatments that are based on our knowledge of other human coronaviruses, but an unbiased, gradual assembly of the key COVID-19 puzzle pieces for different patient cohorts is what is needed to modify the existing treatment guidelines,” Mr. Martin-Loeches added.