Ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have been studying the virus, the way it evolves, and how it affects an individual. One thing that always puzzled the scientists was why Coronavirus ended up being fatal for some, mildly symptomatic for some, and entirely asymptomatic for the others? While studying the main cause for COVID-19 deaths, it has been found that people who die from Coronavirus infection might have antibodies that affect the body’s interferons.
What are Interferons?
Interferons are proteins produced by a body’s immune system in response to virus attacks and infections. Interferons, along with signalling that a virus has entered the body, fights against it from causing life-threatening conditions. But, in this case, out of 1000 people who died because of being infected by Coronavirus, the majority of them showed signs of antibodies affecting their own interferons that are responsible for protection against viruses. These autoantibodies are not the only reason for COVID-19 deaths. The patient’s, and comorbidities also contribute to the worsening of the condition when infected by Coronavirus.
Cause for COVID-19 Deaths
But, one of the surprising derivations from this study is that the COVID-19 patients whose health worsened because of the above condition had these autoantibodies long before the start of the pandemic. The occurrence of autoantibodies in these individuals were found to have existed in them without symptoms. While some of them were infected by the flu, there were others who had never shown symptoms of autoimmune disease. Usually, people affected by autoimmune disease suffer from pneumonia or rheumatoid arthritis which are worsened when a virus attacks.
Scientists concluded that people with autoimmune diseases have high risk of fatality compared to the others affected by Coronavirus. Not just Coronavirus, but any virus such as the influenza can easily invade the interferons can cause serious damage to the immune system of patients with autoimmune diseases. The COVID-19 deaths have to be monitored and studied to know more about their major cause behind such rapid fall in health conditions.