The US tops the charts with the highest number of Covid cases making it the worst-hit country by the pandemic. Although many of them have recovered the number of daily cases is rising, showing something is still helping in its spread. A number of researchers are trying to understand why some people remain asymptomatic Covid-19 patients despite having the virus in their body which sometimes leads them to a silent death.
A new study reveals that these silent cases and death by Covid-19 is somehow linked with blood clots created inside the body. The complete study findings are published in The journal Science Translational Medicine.
This study reveals that coronavirus triggers a deadly type of clotting in the body when an autoimmune antibody is activated by the virus. As a result, it starts to attack nearby cells and create blood clots inside all blood veins, arteries, and even inside the microscopic vessels. These blood clots disrupt the blood flow especially towards the heart and brain and can cause a heart attack or stroke. The clots can also affect the blood supply to the lungs which makes the condition of Covid-19 worse. Sometimes, it causes a silent death by respiratory failure despite no obvious coronavirus symptoms.
Yogen Kanthi, a certified medic from the Michigan Medicine Frankel Cardiovascular Center explains these clots. According to Kanthi, this clot formation by antibodies reaction is also seen in antiphospholipid syndrome patients which is a rare autoimmune disorder.
Inflammation and clotting are common in most Covid-19 patients but the real reason behind their silent death could be these antibodies which affect the blood supply to vital organs. This risk is highest for people who already have underlying conditions and even with no obvious life-threatening symptoms, they end up at death beds.
Jason Knight, one of the co-authors of this study has been working on the antiphospholipid syndrome antibodies previously. He says that these Covid-19 linked clots are among the worst clots that he has observed.
He also shares that nearly 50% of patients who are hospitalized with Covid-19 complications are identified as having at least one autoantibody. Although it came as a surprise it can help to understand the pathogenesis in asymptomatic coronavirus patients.
The antibodies obtained from active Covid-19 patients triggered clotting in animal models during this study. The researchers call it one of the worst forms of clotting which is triggered by a virus. But with this possibility, they have unlocked a new mechanism that is responsible for Covid related complications and death in the most vulnerable ones.
They also reported that those patients which experience more of these autoantibodies often experience respiratory problems and inflammation.
But it is still not clear that what’s triggering these antibodies production. The next step in this research is to find out the triggers of these antibodies. Until then, following the social distancing and wearing a face mask along with hand hygiene are the only ways to be safe from the coronavirus.