Cytokine Storm Symptoms and Swine Flu – What Is the Connection?

Cytokine StormCytokine Storm, also known as hypercytokinemia, is the exchange between cells and small proteins. Some are related to dead tissue or necrosis while others are related to inflammatory triggers. With that in mind, inflammatory cytokine has much to do with the immune system and are responsible for sending pathogens to destroy infection. The response trigger is dependent on cytokine. When a cytokine storm occurs, the body’s immune system will be off balanced because the response system is not working properly, and an abundance of t-cells and microphages find themselves at the infection site. If this infection is related to the respiratory system, fluid will build up and cause serious illness.

One of the main swine flu side effects includes respiratory issues such as pneumonia. The cytokine storm and out of balance response system to build immunity and fight infection ceases to protect against such a flu like the H1N1. The incubation period for swine flu is not at a final determination, but it is thought to be anywhere from 2 to 7 days. Just as any highly contagious, life threatening flu would be treated, the cytokine storm is also treated in the same manner before there is any permanent damage to the lungs, the main effected organ in these illnesses. Without proper care, a patient will be lethally at risk.

Another cytokine storm related illness is the bird flu. One of the Bird flu facts is that the respiratory system is compromised which is why the elderly, young, or those already suffering from some disease are highly effected. This was also true for the outbreak of SARS, and the pandemic flu going back to 1918. There are antiviral drugs available for those in a high risk category such as pregnant women, elderly, very young, and sickly individuals suffering from other diseases.