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Fri May 22, 2020, 03:12 PM

Inflamed brains, toe rashes, strokes: Why COVID-19's weirdest symptoms are only emerging now

An infection can inflict serious damage inside your body in many different ways, and COVID-19 seems to use just about all of them. The coronavirus primarily attacks the lungs, which can cause pneumonia or even respiratory failure, and in one of every five patients, it also leads to multiple organ failure.

Yet, as the pandemic continues to ravage the world, case reports have emerged of more unusual damage ranging from hundreds of tiny blood clots to strokes in young people, and even mysterious inflammatory responses, such as full-body rashes in children and the red lesions that have come to be known unofficially as COVID toe.

Although these conditions seem strange and scary, they have been seen in viral medicine even before the advent of COVID-19, and, to some degree, they are to be expected. Every human body is unique, so a disease that strikes millions of people will yield some oddities. What exactly is going on in these cases, and how common are they? Here’s what we know—and what the scientific community still needs to find out to treat these unusual cases.

COVID-19 and the body: The basics

COVID-19 starts as a respiratory disease. The virus invades cells in the nose, throat, and lungs and starts to replicate, causing flu-like symptoms that can progress to pneumonia and even punch holes in your lungs, leaving permanent scars. For many patients, that’s the worst of it.

But for others, the immune system inexplicably goes haywire and their bodies release proteins called cytokines—alarm beacons that help recruit immune cells to the site of an infection. If too many cytokines leak into the bloodstream and fill the body, immune cells start killing anything they encounter. This response, called a cytokine storm, creates massive inflammation that weakens the blood vessels, causing fluid to seep into the lungs’ air sacs, triggering respiratory failure. A cytokine storm can damage the liver or kidneys and result in multi-organ failure.


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Reply Inflamed brains, toe rashes, strokes: Why COVID-19's weirdest symptoms are only emerging now (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 22 OP
tblue37 May 22 #1

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 22, 2020, 03:30 PM

1. K&R for visibility. nt

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