Some patients suffering from severe conditions may not develop immunity to coronavirus

High levels of a molecule in Covid patients may prevent them from developing immunity.

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Some people can get infected with the same coronavirus three or four times in the same year.
BOSTON:High levels of a molecule seen in severe COVID-19 patients may prevent them from developing long-term immunity to the novel coronavirus, according to a study which says such individuals tended to make very few of a type of cells which produced antibodies against the virus.

Scientists, including those from Harvard University in the US, noted that the release of massive amounts of molecules involved in cell-cell signalling in the body called cytokines can lead to some of the most severe symptoms of COVID-19.

They said high levels of cytokines increased inflammation, and created a feedback loop in which immune cells produced more of these molecules in a process called a cytokine storm.


According to the study, published in the journal Cell, cytokine storms may prevent COVID-19 patients from developing long-term immunity since such individuals make very few of the type of B cells which produce antibodies.

"We've seen a lot of studies suggesting that immunity to COVID-19 is not durable because the antibodies decline over time. This study provides a mechanism that explains this lower-quality immune response," said study co-senior author Shiv Pillai from Harvard University.

In the study, the researchers assessed germinal centres, which are areas within the lymph nodes and spleens where B cells mature and start producing antibodies.
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"When we looked at the lymph nodes and spleens of patients who died from COVID-19, including some who died very soon after getting the disease, we saw that these germinal center structures had not formed," said study co-senior author Robert Padera from Harvard University.

The researchers also gained insights from previous studies involving mouse models of other infections that induce cytokine storm.

According to the scientists, in people with severe COVID-19, one of most abundant cytokines released is called TNF.

In infected mice, they said TNF appeared to block the formation of germinal centers.
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In people with severe Covid, one of most abundant cytokines released is called TNF which appears to block the formation of germinal centers.

Based on earlier studies on cytokine storm, the researchers said mice given antibodies to block TNF or in those that had their TNF gene deleted, the germinal centers were able to form.

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When they studied the lymph nodes of patients who had died of the disease, they found high levels of TNF in these organs.

The scientists believe TNF may be preventing the germinal centers from forming in people with COVID-19 as well.

"We even think this phenomenon occurs in some patients with Ebola, so it was not surprising to us," Pillai said.

When the researchers studied blood and lymphoid tissue from people with active infections at different stages of COVID-19, they found that although germinal centers were not formed in these patients, B cells were still activate, and could allow them to produce some neutralising antibodies against the virus.

"There is an immune response. It's just not coming from a germinal center," Padera said.

Without the germinal centers, the scientists said the immune system may not develop long-term memory to the virus.

Based on studies of other coronaviruses that cause colds, Pillai said people can get infected with the same coronavirus three or four times in the same year.

Despite their findings, the researchers still believe a successful COVID-19 vaccine can be developed as it should not cause high levels of cytokines to be released.

Coronavirus Can Get Children Worried: Here's How To Have The Talk
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In the wake of coronavirus, several schools and colleges have been shut in many parts of the world to contain the spread of COVID-19. As public awareness and conversations around the novel virus increase, the situation can get the children anxious and worried for their family members and friends.



Parents, family members, teachers, healthcare professionals and trusted adults play a significant role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate and minimise their fear or anxiety.



Dr Sreenath Manikanti, Senior Consultant Neonatologist & HOD Fortis La Femme Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore shares a few tips to help make the corona conversation easier around children.

In the wake of coronavirus, several schools and colleges have been shut in many parts of the world to contain the spread of COVID-19. As public awareness and conversations around the novel virus incr..
Read More
- Remember that children react to how and what things are said

- Children pick up cues from conversations you have with them and others

- Patiently listen to what they say, and allow them to ask questions

- Avoid using words that might blame others and lead to stigma

- Remember that the virus can make anyone sick. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19

- Pay attention to what children see, hear or read on television, radio or online

- Reduce the amount of screen time for children focused on COVID-19. Too much information on any one topic can lead to anxiety and worry

- Provide information to kids that is honest and accurate. Give information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child

- Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the internet and social media may be based on rumours and inaccurate information

- Teach chilren everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs

- Stay calm and keep information simple

- Reassure children that health and school authorities are working very hard to keep everyone safe and healthy

- Teach dos and don'ts at home, schools and play areas
- Remember that children react to how and what things are said - Children pick up cues from conversations you have with them and others - Patiently listen to what they say, and allow them to ask qu..
Read More
- Stay 6 feet away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick

- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, and then throw the tissue into a closed bin

- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing nose, coughing or sneezing, after using restroom, and before eating or learning to prepare food

- If soap and water are not available, teach children to use hand sanitiser
- Stay 6 feet away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick - Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, and then throw the tissue into a closed bin - Wash hands with soap and water for a..
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- Avoid touching mouth, nose, eyes and face with unclean hands

- Avoid coughing or sneezing into hands

- Avoid crowded places

- Avoid touching surfaces in public places and play areas unnecessarily
- Avoid touching mouth, nose, eyes and face with unclean hands - Avoid coughing or sneezing into hands - Avoid crowded places - Avoid touching surfaces in public places and play areas unnecessaril..
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What is COVID-19?

- COVID-19 is the short name for 'coronavirus disease 2019'

- It is a new virus. Doctors are still learning more about it

- Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick

- Doctors and scientists think that most people will be alright, especially kids, but some people might get very sick

- Doctors and experts are working hard to help people stay healthy
What is COVID-19? - COVID-19 is the short name for 'coronavirus disease 2019' - It is a new virus. Doctors are still learning more about it - Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick - ..
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- Practice healthy habits at home, school and play to help protect against the spread of COVID-19

- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it in the dustbin right away

- Keep your hands out of your mouth, nose and eyes. This will help keep germs out of your body

- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have soap and water, use hand sanitiser to clean the germs

- Keep things clean and hygienic

- If you have cough & fever, stay home. Just like you don’t want to get other people’s germs in your body, other people don’t want to get your germs either

- If you are old enough, you can help adults at home and school clean the things we touch the most like desks, doorknobs, light switches and remote controls
- Practice healthy habits at home, school and play to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 - Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it in the..
Read More
- COVID-19 can look different in different people. From what doctors have seen so far, most kids don’t seem to get very sick

- Being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. Children may get a fever, cough or have a hard time taking deep breaths

- Most people who have contracted COVID-19 don't get very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems

- If you suspect your child may have COVID-19, call Government of India helpline +91-11-23978046 or contact nearest healthcare facility to let them know before you bring your child in to see them
- COVID-19 can look different in different people. From what doctors have seen so far, most kids don’t seem to get very sick - Being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. Chi..
Read More

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