Reply To: Corona virus: Government takes the St Augustine approach.


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Nick @April 23, 2020 at 18:50

“Clark what you describe there from that nature article sounds very similar to anaphylactic shock.”

Only in so much as they are both phenomena whereby the immune response overreacts and causes damage but the mechanisms and the clinical picture are different. Anaphylaxis is mainly mediated by a type of immune protein called IgE which is associated with allergy. The reaction against a protein, say nuts in those with nut allergy, triggers the release of histamine which causes constriction of the bronchioli and a wheezing attack such as occurs in asthma and skin rashes and so on. The reaction described in the nature paper, also known as a cytokine storm, is triggered by a suboptimal immune response which instead of neutralising the invading agent, virus or bacteria, will instead cause an inappropriate release of chemicals called cytokines, which are intracellular messenger molecules that control certain immune responses. Such responses always have checks and balances but in the case of this inappropriate response, these do not function and an overreaction with damage to various organs, such as the lungs, blood vessels, kidney and heart can occur. Simplistically put!