A Swiss pathologist examined the lungs of deceased corona patients and was able to draw conclusions about various disease courses. The findings could improve the treatment of Covid-19.
In view of the rapidly increasing number of infections, it becomes clear: Any additional knowledge about the coronavirus is important. Researchers from Switzerland have now found out in autopsies that Covid 19 patients die for two different reasons. The results were recently published in the English-language journal “Nature Communications”.
Current study: two groups of corona deaths
Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, Dr. Kirsten Mertz, Senior Physician in Pathology at the Baselland Cantonal Hospital, and her team of people who work at the Covid-19– 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 corona infection.
In an interview with the Swiss news portal “Blick”, Mertz explains: “The first group dies at an early stage from an enormously high viral load in the lungs immune system unfortunately does not manage to suppress the virus. “The lung tissue of these deceased patients is said to have been largely intact.
“In the second group, however, it looks very 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. Such patients would only die after several days or weeks.
The body reacts too violently to the intruder. The virus may then subside, but the inflammation destroys the tissue and organs. “It’s like when the dentist pulls all your teeth because you have tooth decay. Then the tooth decay is gone, but so are your teeth,” the doctor compares.
Pathologist calls coronavirus a “killer”
When asked what a serious illness depends on, Mertz replied in the “Blick” interview: “Safe from the dose”. The higher the viral load, the stronger the body’s immune response and the more cells would be destroyed. Whether a corona infected person has to fear a severe course is not only due to factors such as previous illnesses and age. The amount of viral load that you carry can also be decisive. That is 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: “That Coronavirus was and is a killer. This will also be the case in the future. “There have been” slight mutations “since spring, but overall the virus itself has not changed much, according to the pathologist. And the risk groups are still the same – especially older people and those with previous illnesses, but no one has the guarantee of being spared a serious illness, says Mertz.
Lessons for the treatment of Covid-19
The pathological examinations of the study could make important contributions to the research and therapy of Covid-19. By dividing corona deaths into two groups, it would be easier to estimate which drug treatment could be used at what point in time.
Patients in the early course would be more likely to be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and antiviral drugs. “For example, remdesivir, the antiviral drug that does that too Donald Trump received, is sure to have a better effect if it is administered early enough, “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 was found. Only recently it became public that the World Health Organization WHO Classifies Remdesivir as ineffective against Covid-19.
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