The “Cytokine” Storm [hypercytokinemia]?

Hypercytokinemia and Covid-19

By staff reporters

A cytokine storm, also called hypercytokinemia, is a physiological reaction in humans and other animals in which the innate immune system causes an uncontrolled and excessive release of pro-inflammatory signaling molecules called cytokines.

Normally, cytokines are part of the body’s immune response to infection, but their sudden release in large quantities can cause multisystem organ failure and death.

Cytokine storms can be caused by a number of infectious and non-infectious etiologies, especially viral respiratory infections such as H5N1 influenza, SARS-CoV-1, and SARS-CoV-2. Other causative agents include the Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and group A streptococcus, and non-infectious conditions such as graft-versus-host disease.

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