Terms & Conditions

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Last updated: July 1, 2020.

Please read these Terms of Use ("Terms", "Terms of Use") carefully before using COVID-19 T.V. website (the "Service") operated by The iMarket Network, LLC ("us", "we", or "our").

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Current Version: 1

Privacy Policy

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Last updated: July 1, 2020.

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We will disclose your Personal Information where required to do so by law or subpoena.

Changes To This Privacy Policy

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Current Version: 1

Why Does COVID-19 Have So Many Symptoms?

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Thanks to Brilliant for supporting this episode
of SciShow. Go to Brilliant. org/SciShow to check out their
course on artificial neural nets. This episode was filmed on June 19th, 2020. You can find more info on the COVID-19 pandemic
in our playlist, linked in the description. At first, we were told to watch out for coughing,
fever, and trouble breathing. That is still true. But COVID-19 has a /lot/ of possible symptoms,
not all of which scream “respiratory disease”– even though the virus SARS-CoV-2 infects
our airways, and is thought to spread primarilythrough droplets we breathe out. COVID-19 patients have experienced some unexpected
symptoms that affect more than just theirlungs — like GI problems, skin rashes, and
a loss of smell and taste. Some of this is due to our immune response to the virus. But today we’re going to focus on the molecule
the virus uses to infect our cells: the angiotensin-convertingenzyme 2 receptor, or ACE2 for short. This molecule lets certain coronaviruses,
including SARS-CoV-2, affect us in a /ton/of different ways. All cells have various surface receptors embedded
in their outer membrane. As their name suggests, they receive
signals and stuff from outside the cell — stufflike hormones, neurotransmitters, nutrients,
and immune molecules. ACE2 is a surface receptor with a bunch of
important jobs throughout our bodies, not just our lungs. Unluckily for us, that also means SARS-CoV-2
has the potential to infect a variety of cell types. It still only causes the one disease — COVID-19
— but this helps explain some of its broader effects. One of ACE2’s major functions is working
with another protein, angiotensin II, to keepblood pressure in balance. Angiotensin II raises blood pressure, and
when it gets too high, ACE2 breaks it downto lower blood pressure again. ACE2 does lots of other things, too, like
accelerating tissue repair and modulatingthe microbes in our guts. And while there are lots of other kinds of
surface receptors that viruses can use toget into cells and hold them hostage, ACE2
just happens to be the one that SARS-CoV-2 uses to get in. Scientists think the infection most often
starts when the virus is introduced to someone’s nasal passages. The nasal cavity has tons of ACE2 receptors,
so it’s fertile ground for the virus, whichcan invade those cells to replicate. At this point, the newly-infected host might
not have any symptoms, or they may developa fever, sore throat, dry cough, or loss of
smell and tasteThat loss of taste and smell might seem like
the odd one out, but it has ACE2’s fingerprints all over it. One study in mice from May of 2020 found that
ACE2 is expressed in cells of the nose thathelp transfer odors from the air to neurons,
so the infection could block those signals. The researchers also found that older mice
tend to have more ACE2 in nasal cells than younger ones. If this is true in humans, it could help explain
why older people are more susceptible to COVID-19. Upon infection, the virus can make its
way to our lungs. When the virus binds to ACE2 in the lungs,
scientists think that it disrupts the normalbreakdown of angiotensin II. Which means angiotensin II is free to run
amok, leading to a vicious cycle of inflammation,cell death, and even blood clots that keep
the lungs from getting oxygen to the body. So it’s no wonder that many patients need
help breathing. And that’s not where it ends. Because, like we said, ACE2 is expressed in
all /sorts/ of cell types. Like the circulatory system. A series of case reports in the journal the
Lancet looked at three patients with severeinflammation and cell death in their endothelial
cells — the cells that line the inside of blood vessels. Researchers are pretty sure that the virus
can directly infect these cells using theirACE2 receptors — though the significance
of that isn’t totally clear yet. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s the
heart. In severe cases of COVID-19, doctors have
observed cardiac injuries. And COVID-19 patients with severe heart injuries
also had relatively high amounts of ACE2 in their heart cells. For example, one patient in Italy presented
at the ER with all of the symptoms of a heartattack, but doctors couldn’t find evidence
of a blockage in the coronary arteries thatwould normally cause such symptoms. The patient tested positive for COVID-19. And while researchers don’t yet fully understand
the cause, it’s possible that SARS-CoV-2’srelationship with ACE2 is contributing to
cardiac symptoms. Then there’s the gut. The lining of the lower digestive tract is
rich in ACE2 receptors, which could explainwhy up to half of people with COVID-19 have
diarrhea. A study in the journal Science Immunology
showed that the virus can directly infecthuman and mouse intestinal cells in culture. This study also suggested that the virus breaks
down before it exits the colon, making transmissionby that route less likely — but research
is still ongoing there. Researchers are still trying to get a clear
picture of COVID-19 and all its symptoms. This has just been the short list of things
we’re pretty sure can be traced to ACE2. We’ve barely touched on the more indirect
effects that seem to be a result of our immunesystem going into overdrive. The good news, though, is that it also makes
ACE2 a potential target for therapies — whichopens up another potential treatment path
for COVID-19. It takes incredibly smart humans to diagnosediseases and come up with treatments. Sometimes, they enlist artificial intelligence
for help. Those AIs are powered by artificial neural
nets, which you can learn about in a wholecourse from Brilliant. It’ll teach you all about how we teach computers
to recognize patterns. And if you want to learn even more, Brilliant
has tons of courses in math, science, computerscience, and engineering, all of which will
help you sharpen your scientific thinking skills. If you want to get started, head over to Brilliant. org/SciShow,
where the first 200 people to sign up willget 20% off an annual Premium subscription.

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