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Covid-19 is possibly caused by an attack on the body’s oxygenation system

April 8, 2020
There are some interesting observations on the Covid-19 disease revealing that it doesn’t appear to be normal pneumonia or ARDS (Acute respiratory distress syndrome), but a failure of the body’s oxygenation system, due to an attack by the virus on the hemoglobin, transporting oxygen and CO2 through the blood. Check the video below with observations made by a ICU physician in New York.
What is being observed is that the lungs of the patient seem to be mechanically ok, and that the problem manifests itself rather as acute high altitude sickness.
Here’s a scientific paper describing the situation from a biochemical point of view, hinting at a failure of the body’s oxygenation system when proteins of the virus attacks the hemoglobin and its function of carrying oxygen and CO2.
The conclusion is that ventilators, which are used to help lungs with mechanical work if the muscles are too weak, might not be very effective for treating Covid-19, or might even do harm, unless we find the cures that repair the oxygenation process, or stop the virus attack on this system.
Another hint is this AI-based study identifying three top risk factors for developing a severe illness in Covid-19 (and it is not age, sex or the things we would expect, but hemoglobin turns up again):
“A mildly elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (a liver enzyme), the presence of myalgias (body aches), and an elevated hemoglobin (red blood cells), in this order, are the clinical features, on presentation, that are the most predictive. The predictive models that learned from historical data of patients from these two hospitals achieved 70% to 80% accuracy in predicting severe cases.”
If this hypothesis would turn out to be correct, there should be a possibility to cure the Covid-19 disease without ICU and save thousands of lives, before we will be able to develop a vaccine about 18-24 months from now.

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One Comment
  1. Mark Underwood permalink

    Apparently even the plasma in the blood in the capillaries lining the alveoli are highly deficient in oxygen, not just the red blood cells. What should happen is that the gaseous O2 in the lungs gets dissolved in water on the lung surface and traverses various thin layers before it gets into the blood plasma. Then there is uptake of dissolved O2 from the blood plasma by heme of the red blood cells. Perhaps the loose Fe3+ is damaging the endothelium of the capillaries and somehow preventing the O2 from getting though. Alternatively, and perhaps most likely, either the virus or the immune response to the virus is damaging the thin epithelial layer lining the lungs, preventing O2 from getting through into the blood plasma in the first place.

    How oxygen moves from the lungs into the blood:
    https://www.khanacademy.org/science/health-and-medicine/respiratory-system/gas-exchange-jv/v/oxygen-movement-from-alveoli-to-capillaries

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