The #COVID19 story that started just 5 months ago as a regional outbreak and then snowballed into a massive pandemic, seems to have another facet that scientists are coming to terms with: a funny spin or DOOSRA for most aspects we thought we knew!
BLOOD VESSEL DISEASE
There is increasing evidence that COVID that was thought to be a viral pneumonia quite like influenza, SARS or H1N1 is turning out to be BLOOD VESSEL disease. Studies on lungs of patients are showing that small vessels that supply blood to the lungs are choked with clots, in stark contrast to what we see in “pneumonia” where the blood vessels are intact but the small airspaces are filled with fluids and cells.
This is helping explain why many patients have breathlessness and low levels of oxygen in the blood, and why providing high flow rates of oxygen rather than mechanical ventilation seems to help.
Damage and choking of blood vessels in other parts of the body are being increasingly seen and reported. Many patients present with STROKE due to blood clots in the vessels supplying the brain. A similar phenomenon helps explain why an increasing number of patients are presenting with HEART ATTACKS due to blood clots blocking supply to the heart muscles.
PAINFUL RED or PURPLE TOES and FINGERS
Impaired blood circulation of the hands and feet can present with painful red digits, something that intensive care experts probably initially overlooked while struggling with gasping patients and ventilators. This new finding seen in many patients is fitting in with the “blood vessel clot” theory.
KIDNEY, INTESTINES, LIVER
A similar phenomenon of blood clotting within arteries and veins, choking and interrupting supply of blood and oxygen to organs and tissues is now stepping in to explain the myriad weird manifestations of COVID 19.
One of several reports by Dr Mandeep Mehra and his team from Boston, USA appeared in the reputed medical journal LANCET last month and is helping explain 40 % of the deaths.
This “doosra” has already set scientists scrambling to find other ways of treating COVID, from convalescent plasma, antivirals, and now to possible use of medications that reduce risk of blood clotting.
COVID 19 is turning out to be a ONE-OF-A-KIND respiratory virus that damages endothelial cells or inner linings of blood vessels and could be killing by strangulating tissues and organs.
And the best antiviral medicine may be medications that keep the blood “supply chain” going to the organs!