Coronavirus infection is becoming more like an autoimmune disease, according to scientists and it might explain irreparable damage to health inflicted by this disease, as Elemental reported citing JAMA Cardiology research.
During the whole pandemic, doctors noted the confounding phenomenon that many people infected with coronavirus have the development of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that might lead to lasting damage and death. Even among people with a mild form of Covid-19 or asymptomatic disease, the experts found out evidence of heart inflammation. July research showed that 60% of patients with coronavirus had active myocarditis two months after the initial infection.
The inflammation was also commonly spread among people who recovered at home or those who needed hospitalization.
“We’re still questioning why we see this inflammation in the heart,” MD, an emeritus professor of infectious diseases and vaccinology at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health John Swartzberg said.
According to him, one of the hypotheses is that there is an autoimmune process at work
“It seems that Covid-19 shares a similar inflammatory immune response with autoinflammatory and autoimmune conditions,” Swartzberg noted.
Autoimmunity describes the activity of the immune system, firstly, the inflammation that aims at the healthy cells, tissues, or other inappropriate targets in the body.
The autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and multiple sclerosis, are defined by this inappropriate inflammation and its resulting damage.
Concerning Covid-19 and myocarditis, the autoimmune hypothesis states that SARS-CoV-2 forces the immune system to misidentify something in the heart’s cells as dangerous. This misidentification causes inflammation.
According to Swartzberg, this theory is one of the few possible explanations. Nevertheless, the presence of inflammation, even if it lingers after the virus is wiped out, is not by itself an indicator of autoimmune disease.
Earlier, a group of scientists from Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge, UK) made respective conclusions that hurting eyes and other symptoms of conjunctivitis can point out to coronavirus.