Dane asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 month ago

Why are some coronavirus cases more severe than others?

Are all coronaviruses the same or is the virus that chooses the severity of it?

4 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    Covid-19 is a virus that human immune systems haven't seen before. It can result in what's known as a cytokine storm ... the immune system basically over-reacts. This causes the symptoms of infection. It is the person's own immune system that causes high fever, blood leakage, blood clotting, reduced blood oxygen levels, low blood pressure, and changes in blood acidity.

    As the immune system response kicks into overdrive, it causes inflammation of the organs. Kidneys, heart, lungs, intestines, liver, etc become inflamed. Fluid starts to form in the lungs.

    It progresses then to a stage where the immune response is so severe that dead cells and proteins start to line the walls of the lung, cutting off oxygen supplies. 

    In other words, Covid-19 is dangerous because of the immune response it provokes. If people have underlining health conditions, with lungs, liver, kidneys, etc then this response can tip these organs into failure. Since older people are more likely to suffer from such conditions, their risk of death is higher than younger people who are better able to cope.

    How strongly your immune system responds is genetic. That's why people suffer differently ... not because of the virus but their immune response to it.

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    • Elizabeth
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      No, but this is the problem with Covid-19... we're seeing huge range of symptoms probably due to effects of the virus and the immune system. Each person is unique. So it's impossible to tell how exactly any one person will respond.

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  • 1 month ago

    In addition to the usual things like age, health and preexisting conditions there is the variable called the "virus load" or the number of individual virus cells a person is infected with. Just a few and it is easier for the body to fight them off. A lot of cells and that is much more difficult.

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  • Cammie
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    The same reason some broken legs are worse than others. Some colds are worse than others. Some cancers are worse than others.It happens with everything .

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  • jimmy
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    There are many factors that make it vary on a case by case basis (age, health issues etc.).

    • Dane1 month agoReport

      I'm a 15 year old boy with no underlying issues. I should be OK. I guess.

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