Everything you need to know about Cytokine Storm

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is an RNA virus that infects the respiratory system. The mild varieties of coronavirus cause common cold while the lethal ones can cause COVID-19. This virus mainly targets the lungs. Lungs contain two kinds of cells: Goblet cells and Ciliated cells. The function of ciliated cells is to eliminate the pathogen which enters our body. When the ciliated cells detonate the coronavirus, it gets clogged in the lungs due to which the patient experiences the initial symptoms like cough, fever, and pneumonia.

How it causes infection?

The immune system becomes active and produces cells that have the function to destroy the virus but in some patients, the immune system becomes overactive and starts hurting the healthy human cells. Most cells are killed resulting in further clogging of the lungs. When damage increases, the infection reaches the alveoli. The alveoli facilitate the intake of oxygen and exhalation of carbon dioxide. This process is affected, this results in breathing problems.

Coronavirus causes only mild to moderate symptoms that can be treated by the intake of medications as prescribed by the doctors. Initially, it was unclear why some people are dying due to COVID but now scientists have understood that the reason behind the death of people is severe Cytokine storm. The probability of the start of a cytokine storm is higher from about days 7 to 10 of active COVID19 infection.

What is a cytokine storm?

When a virus or bacteria attacks our body, the immune system becomes active and releases cytokines to help fight the infections.

However, in some of the COVID patients, the immune system becomes overactive and starts degrading our own cells and tissues. This abnormal reaction of our immune system is known as a Cytokine storm.

What are the indications of a Cytokine storm?

The symptoms of this condition are flu-like symptoms, low blood pressure, and increased blood clotting.

It may cause organ failure and death.

How to detect a Cytokine storm at the correct time?

This can be done in the following ways:

  • Blood tests
  • Observing breathlessness
  • No fever for a few days and fever starts again or low fever suddenly by increasing to very high fever.

What are the medications to be given in a cytokine storm?

  • Steroids
  • Dexamethasone
  • Methylprednisolone

Contributed By- Shruti Shreya, Content Writer @ Mitti Ke Rang

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