People infected with the novel coronavirus can have markedly different experiences. Some report having nothing more than symptoms of a mild cold; others are hospitalized and even die as their lungs become inflamed and fill up with fluid. How can the same virus result in such different outcomes?
Scientists are still perplexed by the novel coronavirus. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that the immune system plays a critical role in whether you recover from the virus or you die from it. In fact, most coronavirus-related deaths are due to the immune system going haywire in its response, not damage caused by the virus itself. So what exactly is happening in your body when you get the virus, and who is at risk for a more severe infection?