COVID-19 works like a burglar, disabling the ‘alarm’ of our immune system, researchers say

Lab, doctor, coronavirus

(WYTV) – Is the coronavirus pandemic really ending? We hope, but scientists are learning more about COVID-19 every day.

A Cleveland Clinic research team recently looked into how the virus got past our immune system. The coronavirus had to teach itself how to do that before it could run around loose in our bodies.

“I sometimes compare it with an alarm system in our house,” said Michaela Gack, with the Cleveland Clinic. “So basically, the invader — in this case, the COVID-19 virus — disables the alarm system in the house and thereby, can freely replicate in the human body and spread.”

It seems one of the enzymes inside COVID-19 can disrupt a key sensor protein in the body. This sensor protein typically alerts the immune system within minutes of detecting a viral invader. COVID-19 shuts it down. This evasion technique appears to be unique.

Knowing this can help researchers develop ways to counteract that enzyme. We can target the entire family of coronaviruses, including SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and the common cold.

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