26 Jan, 2021 06:00 am

Africa: Risk of Severe Covid Established Early in Infection

Analysis - Why most people who get COVID have mild symptoms or none at all while some become severely ill is still a mystery - a mystery that scientists are urgently trying to solve.

Scientists also discovered that these patients have changes in some cytokines - proteins that orchestrate the immune response.But the damage to the body's organs is not caused by the virus itself but by the immune system's response to the virus.Finding out who is at risk of this runaway immune response, before symptoms kick in, is important.The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, found that very early changes in the immune response to the virus could be used to predict who will develop severe disease and who won't.

On the other hand, patients with mild disease or no symptoms were found to mount an early and robust adaptive immune response to the virus.An adaptive immune response is where the immune system identifies an infection and then produces T cells, B cells and antibodies specific to the virus to fight back.

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