New Tests to Determine the Severity of Coronavirus

Scientists, according to a recent development, have created a score that can accurately predict who will develop a severe form of COVID-19. According to this study, a measurement called the Dublin-Boston score is designed to enable clinicians to make more informed decisions when identifying patients who may benefit from therapies, such as steroids, and admission to intensive care units. Until recently, there were no Covid-19-specific prognostic scores to guide clinical decision-making. This score can now accurately predict how severe the infection will be on day seven after measuring the patient’s blood for the first four days.

The mechanism of the blood test is done by measuring the levels of two molecules that send messages to the body’s immune system and control inflammation. One of these molecules, interleukin (IL)-6, is pro-inflammatory, and a different one, called IL-10, is anti-inflammatory. The levels of both are altered in severe Covid-19 patients. Depending upon the changes in the ratio of these two molecules over time, the researchers developed a point system where each 1-point increase was associated with 5.6 times increased odds for a more severe outcome. It is an easily calculated score and can be applied to all the hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

The score will be of help while determining the escalation or de-escalation of care which is a key component or resource during the pandemic. The said score utilizes the ratio of IL-6 to IL-10 because it significantly outperforms measuring the change in IL-6 alone. Even with high levels in the blood, using only IL-6 measurements as a Covid-19 prognostic tool is affected by several factors. IL-6 levels within the same patient vary over any given day, and the magnitude of the IL-6 response to infection varies between different patients.

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