Apr 16, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus may attack multiple organs in some patients

Illustration of a purple coronavirus under a spotlight in the dark
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's well-known that the coronavirus targets the lungs, but evidence suggests that the virus may also cause heart inflammation, acute kidney disease, neurological problems, blood clots, intestinal damage and liver issues, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The treatment for each patient will vary depending on which organs are being attacked, and the myriad symptoms of the virus have already made treatment complicated.

  • Nearly half of the coronavirus patients who are hospitalized have signs of kidney damage, and intensive care units in New York are treating so much kidney failure that they're running low on personnel and supplies.

What they're saying: "The question is, is it kind of behaving like a hybrid of different viruses?" Brennan Spiegel, co-editor in chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, told the Post. "What we're learning is, it seems anyway, that this virus homes in on more than one organ system."

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