COVID-19 damaging intestines — 4 insights

While much is known about the coronavirus' ability to shut down lungs, new research suggests the virus can affect other organs in the body including those in the digestive tract, The Washington Post reports.

What you should know:

1. Clinicians have seen evidence that the virus has caused heart inflammation, acute kidney disease, neurological malfunctions, blood clots, intestinal damage and liver problems. 

2. This damage has complicated treatments, making recovery less certain.

3. Clinicians fear the virus is replicating how it enters the human body to enter other areas like the GI tract, which has 100 times more ACE2 receptors than other parts of the body and has a larger surface area. 

4. Researchers believe the damage may be in part because the human immune system creates an excess of cytokines to battle the virus, which damages multiple organs. 

When the body creates too many cytokines, "it can be a complete disaster," said Jeffrey Weber, MD, PhD, deputy director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center at New York City-based NYU Langone Medical Center. 

Read the entire report here.

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