Coronavirus, why is it sometimes more aggressive?
Novel coronavirus has variable effects, it may be asymptomatic, with light symptoms or it may become pneumonia with severe complications that may require the intensive therapy. Why does this happen? An article waiting for publication in the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology by a team of Italian National Institute of Health and Charitè University of Berlin (Matricardi et al, 2020) found three reasons why the virus in some cases is more aggressive.
In particular, the scientists have observed that novel coronavirus may have severe complications in three cases.
a) In case of weak immune system and in the elderly
b) In normal and healthy people but exposed to high levels of virus such as doctors and nurses.
c) In sporty people that do strong physical exercises in the period of virus incubation
In particular, the latest point is very important. Scientists aren’t saying that physical activity causes the infection by novel coronavirus but that, in case of an already present infection, doing a physical exercise that requires intense effort may facilitate, through high air flows, the direct penetration of the virus in the low respiratory ways until the alveoli bypassing the airway mucous membranes reach in antibodies. In this way the virus bypasses the efficient immune barrier of the upper airways even in young and healthy people. The immune response of the body arrives later and is very strong by causing a severe inflammation and a release, that may become uncontrolled, of coagulation factors, that are proteins responsible for blood clotting, and a cytokine storm, that is an uncontrolled immune response. This may worsen the situation and may cause complications often requiring intensive therapy.