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Russian, Japanese scientists discover how COVID-19 affects red bone marrow

Scientists think that the risk group includes everyone with a low hemoglobin count

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. Scientists of the Far Eastern Federal University together with Russian and Japanese colleagues think that the coronavirus may attack red bone marrow, not only damaging the red blood cells but also preventing the formation of new ones. The results of the study were published on Archiv EuroMedica, the press service of Russia’s Education and Science Ministry reported on Friday.

"The researchers think that the risk group includes people with low hemoglobin count since erythrocytes, red blood cells responsible for transfer of the iron-saturated hemoglobin protein, are the key target for the virus. These conclusions were made by the international research group that studied the mechanism of development of the coronavirus infection (COVID-19)," the statement said.

Scientists think that the risk group includes everyone with a low hemoglobin count. Above all, these are the elderly, people with elevated blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, pregnant women, people with immunodeficiency, cancer patients, and so on.

According to professor of the department of fundamental medicine of the School of Biomedicine of the Far Eastern Federal University Galina Reva, the virus proliferates on skin and then enters blood and attacks targets which may include both internal systems (digestive tract, lungs, genitourinary system) and red blood cells.

"We presume that the main aim of the virus is the red blood marrow where it damages endothelium which normally regulates the migration of growing cells to blood. This is precisely why strange things occur with immunity cells, and in the tissues of various organs megakaryocytes, very large bone marrow cells, were found. Normally, megakaryocytes are the source of platelets responsible for blood clotting ability but with COVID-19 they thicken the blood in vessels without need," the press service quoted her as saying.