I am taking Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology currently and we happen to be learning about Red Blood Cells and Hemoglobin.
Dr. Sidell a New York emergency physician, was the first to come out and say that he didn’t think COVID was an ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) he thought it looked more like oxygen starvation or altitude sickness. He discussed how when he was intubating patients they were still conscious which is highly unusual with ARDS. And how he thought it was the wrong protocol. He thought the primary mechanism of the illness didn’t seem to be on the lungs. But more on oxygen starved from cells.
Another Doctor later described it more as a hemoglobin hypoxia.
Hemoglobin in the red blood cells acts as oxygen transporters, carrying oxygen throughout the body.
At the age of 25 red blood cell production becomes limited as some of the body’s producers of red blood cells stop producing it. Which would make sense the older you are, the more you would be affected as the systems in your body that produce red blood cells are reduced.
I was curious to see if diabetes, as it is a commonly pointed to risk factor for severe COVID infections, affected red blood cells, and it does. When you have diabetes you have to be checked regularly for anemia. Which usually happens because you don’t have enough blood cells.
Additionally, it has been believed that the reason that Italy had a higher mortality rate was because Italy’s median age range is older. It was interesting to learn that people of Mediterranean descent especially from Greece, Turkey, Italy, and the major Mediterranean islands, parts of North Africa and South Asia are prone to inherited, autosomal recessive disorders of hemoglobin production.
Which also make them more at risk for an illness that attacks hemoglobin and presents as a hemoglobin hypoxia.
I would conclude any disorder or medicine that negatively effects red blood cells could lead to an increased susceptibility to severe COVID infections.
Additionally, this makes sense why an anti-malarial drug would work. If you look up the mechanism of action of this on malaria it describes how quinine which is the active ingredient, interferes with the parasites ability to dissolve and metabolize hemoglobin.
It appears Chloroquine acts similarly against COVID. Blocking it from binding to the hemoglobin. Which makes sense that it could act prophylactically as a preventative. And it makes sense that it would need to be given early on. Before rapid replication. Blocking it from causing hemoglobin hypoxia. As it allows the transport of oxygen throughout the body. And zinc has been pointed to as aiding in this process which is why it is recommended as well.
I’m just a first year student, but I can definitely see biologically how this all makes sense. And why doctors would be defending it. What is dangerous - is that they are being censored.