At the beginning of the pandemic, the coronavirus looked to be another respiratory illness. But the virus has turned out to affect not just the lungs, but the kidneys, the heart and the circulatory system — even, somehow, our senses of smell and taste.
Now researchers have discovered yet another unpleasant surprise. In many patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, the immune system is threatened by a depletion of certain essential cells, suggesting eerie parallels with H.I.V.
The findings suggest that a popular treatment to tamp down the immune system in severely ill patients may help a few, but could harm many others. The research offers clues about why very few children get sick when they are infected, and hints that a cocktail of drugs may be needed to bring the coronavirus under control, as is the case with H.I.V.
Growing research points to “very complex immunological signatures of the virus,”