The Coronavirus not only causes pneumonia but can also attack blood vessels throughout the body, leading to organ failure, according to a new study published in the medical journal Lancet.
“Viruses not only attack the lungs, but also attack blood vessels everywhere,” said Frank Ruschitzka, author of the study from the University Hospital of Zurich, according to the South China Morning Post.
The team found that the virus is not only causing pneumonia. “It invades the endothelial cell layer, which is the defense line of blood vessels, weakening the defense gland and disrupting circulation,” the smallest blood vessel, the author said.
This causes blood flow to the organs to decrease and eventually to stop blood circulation. Therefore, patients have problems in all organs such as the heart, kidneys, intestines.
That explains why smokers or those with underlying disease that have impaired endothelial function or unhealthy blood vessels are at risk from SARS-CoV-2.
The study, published on April 17, found traces of the virus in endothelial cells (mucosal cells inside blood vessels) and in inflamed cells, in Covid-19 patients. .
Although the study looked at only three cases, Ruschitzka said examination of other Covid-19 patients also found that blood vessel mucosa was “full of virus” and that vascular function was disrupted in all organs.
From these findings, the team proposed therapies to stabilize endothelial cells simultaneously to prevent virus replication.
In addition to finding a vaccine to prevent the virus from spreading, Ruschitzka said that strengthening vascular health may be the most important in treating Covid-19 patients.
John Nicholls, a professor of pathology at the University of Hong Kong, thinks more research is still needed.
“While many structures may look like virus components under a microscope, other lab technologies will need to be conducted to truly confirm the virus infection,” the South China Morning Post said. Mr. Nicholls.