Information published in Science Translational Medicine could help predict severe and prolonged COVID-19 cases among high-risk individuals and inspire new treatment options, say scientists at the National Institutes of Health (Sci Transl Med 2021;13).

In a small study of lung samples from 18 patients who had died of COVID-19 – as well as plasma samples from six of those patients – scientists have extracted new information that could help health care professionals better determine when to begin existing treatments as the disease progresses. The new research provided details about how SARS-CoV-2 spreads in the lungs before manipulating the immune system and causing damage such as lung failure.

Scientists believe this new information will be particularly useful in focusing the care of COVID-19 patients who are elderly, obese, or have diabetes. All samples studied in the research came from patients with at least one condition that put them at...

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