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COVID Severity in Elderly Linked to 100 Times More Virus in Nose Cells!

Virus in Nose Cells

United States: According to lab tests, it is shown that there are 100 times more viruses in nose cells in the first few days after an infection in elderly people.

More about the study findings

This scientific breakthrough can provide an answer to why older adults are typically hit badly, while children are not very infected with Covid.

Additionally, the researchers point out that while administering an anti-viral treatment, it must be tailored to different age groups according to their respective needs.

Nose is the first place from where Covid can get into your body. With this striking feature, scientists considered the issue in minute detail, i.e., inside what was described as a viral production factory.

How was the study conducted?

The researchers analyzed cells along the lining of the nose from healthy people belonging to three age groups: under-12s, 30-50-year-olds, and over-70s.

Further, the researchers developed the nasal cells in lab dishes, which were made infected by the coronavirus and observed closely by them.

According to BBC News reports, Dr Claire Smith, study leader and associate professor from the University College of London, said that age messes with the cell balance in the nose front and brings the “destructive, dysfunctional” process in older people.

These could be the cases when being exposed to viruses for a longer time has given them more incidences, reason enough to have a broader immune system.

When you are above the age of 75, the risk of dangerously being sick with Covid increases, so in order to protect older people and people with a weakened immune system, the UK offers the vaccine to the over-75s and people living in adult homes.

Dr. Smith noted in his interview with Nature Microbiology that this helped to emphasize how vital it was to take aging into account when looking at potential treatments and therapies.

In conclusion, the focus of the following study is to be connected to how the body – and the nose – reacts to different viruses, such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

According to Dr Smith, “Understanding the cellular differences at the initiation of infection is just the beginning,” as BBC News reported.

“We now hope to investigate the long-term implications of these cellular changes and test therapeutic interventions using our unique cell culture model,” Smith added.

Nose cells for the study purpose were taken as a sample in February 2020, during the first wave of Covid-19. It was done in order to know how different the body’s initial reaction to the virus strain is to the current circulating Omicron variant.

The researchers continue to point out that more research is needed to discover if the amount of infectious virus present in the nose cells played an important role in the spread of Covid.

The study, which was collaboratively carried out by the UCL and the Wellcome Sanger Institute and generously funded by the UK Research and Innovation, NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre, and Chan Zuckerberg Foundation respectively, aimed at understanding the nature of DNA replication.

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