COVID-19 can produce an array of unpredictable effects that mark it apart from a regular cold or flu. Researchers are still uncovering the many ways the virus attacks the body but symptoms help to a provide visual map of these unsettling effects. As the virus has spread, health bodies have classified the symptoms based on their severity status.
A cytokine storm is an overreaction of the body’s immune system.
As Harvard Health explains, in some people with COVID-19, the immune system releases immune messengers, called cytokines, into the bloodstream out of proportion to the threat or long after the virus is no longer a threat.
“When this happens, the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, potentially causing significant harm,” warns the health body.
As it explains, a cytokine storm triggers an exaggerated inflammatory response that may damage the liver, blood vessels, kidneys, and lungs, and increase formation of blood clots throughout the body.
There have been some news reports of anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, making coronavirus worse.
The Commission on Human Medicines has now confirmed there is no clear evidence that using ibuprofen to treat symptoms such as a high temperature makes coronavirus worse.
“If you have a cough, it’s best to avoid lying on your back. Lie on your side or sit upright instead,” advises the NHS.
To help ease a cough, try having a teaspoon of honey – but do not give honey to babies under 12 months, it adds.