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What causes a cytokine storm?

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A cytokine storm happens when there is an overproduction, and unregulated immune response that releases excess amounts of cytokines in your body. These are chemicals that are released by cells of your immune system to help fight infection. Yet, sometimes the reaction becomes uncontrolled, and too many immune cells are activated in a single place. It causes multi-organ failure and a high risk of sepsis or death. No one knows exactly what triggers this to happen but an exaggerated immune response to a new virus, bacteria, or another substance that is foreign to the body is oftentimes the cause. The symptoms of a cytokine storm are high fever, swelling and redness, extreme fatigue and nausea. At the same time, there can be organ failure with lung failure, ARDS, kidney failure and cardiovascular collapse or shock.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 13, 2020
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 13, 2020

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