Has "the whole world" gotten the pathology of COVID-19 wrong -- that it's thrombosis, a blood-clotting problem, that should be treated with "antibiotics, antivirals, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants" and not a viral infection that leads to a potentially lethal respiratory illness? No, this is not true. While there are microvascular thrombi identified in patients with COVID-19, according to a specialist at Emory University, "that is in addition to" viral pneumonitis -- not the cause itself.
The claim is made in a post (archived here) published on Facebook on May 10, 2020. It read, in part:
It is now clear that the whole world has been attacking the so-called Coronavirus Pandemic wrongly due to a serious pathophysiological diagnosis error.
According to valuable information from Italian pathologists, ventilators and intensive care units were never needed.
Autopsies performed by the Italian pathologists has shown that it is not pneumonia but it is Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (Thrombosis) which ought to be fought with antibiotics, antivirals, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants.
If this is true for all cases, that means the whole world is about to resolve this novel pandemic earlier than expected.
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
Below is the full text of the post:
Hold on to your hats folks, read this and spread the word!This is the text of the article (now gone). Luckily, I found it with a friend and copied it.Autopsies Prove that COVID-19 is a Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (Pulmonary Thrombosis)Published on May 9, 2020Ted CotéIt is now clear that the whole world has been attacking the so-called Coronavirus Pandemic wrongly due to a serious pathophysiological diagnosis error.According to valuable information from Italian pathologists, ventilators and intensive care units were never needed.Autopsies performed by the Italian pathologists has shown that it is not pneumonia but it is Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (Thrombosis) which ought to be fought with antibiotics, antivirals, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants.If this is true for all cases, that means the whole world is about to resolve this novel pandemic earlier than expected.However, protocols are currently being changed in Italy who have been adversely affected by this pandemic.The impressive case of a Mexican family in the United States who claimed they were cured with a home remedy was documented: three 500 mg aspirins dissolved in lemon juice boiled with honey, taken hot. The next day they woke up as if nothing had happened to them! Well, the scientific information that follows proves they are right!This information was released by a medical researcher from Italy:"Thanks to 50 autopsies performed on patients who died of COVID-19, Italian pathologists have discovered that IT IS NOT PNEUMONIA, strictly speaking, because the virus does not only kill pneumocytes of this type, but uses an inflammatory storm to create an endothelial vascular thrombosis."In disseminated intravascular coagulation, the lung is the most affected because it is the most inflamed, but there is also a heart attack, stroke and many other thromboembolic diseases.In fact, the protocols left antiviral therapies useless and focused on anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting therapies. These therapies should be done immediately, even at home, in which the treatment of patients responds very well.If the Chinese had denounced it, they would have invested in home therapy, not intensive care! So, the way to fight it is with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants.An Italian pathologist reports that the hospital in Bergamo did a total of 50 autopsies and one in Milan, 20, that is, the Italian series is the highest in the world, the Chinese did only 3, which seems to fully confirm the information.In a nutshell, the disease is determined by a disseminated intravascular coagulation triggered by the virus; therefore, it is not pneumonia but pulmonary thrombosis, a major diagnostic error.Some world leaders doubled the number of resuscitation places in the ICU, with unnecessary exorbitant costs.According to the Italian pathologist, treatment in ICUs is useless if thromboembolism is not resolved first. "If we ventilate a lung where blood does not circulate, it is useless, in fact, nine (9) patients out of ten (10) will die because the problem is cardiovascular, not respiratory.""It is venous microthrombosis, not pneumonia, that determines mortality."According to the literature, inflammation induces thrombosis through a complex but well-known pathophysiological mechanism.Unfortunately, what the scientific literature said, especially Chinese, until mid-March was that anti-inflammatory drugs should not be used.Now, the therapy being used in Italy is with anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, as in influenza, and the number of hospitalized patients has been reduced.He also discovered that many deaths, even in their 40s, had a history of fever for 10 to 15 days, which were not treated properly.The inflammation does a great deal of tissue damage and creates ground for thrombus formation. However, the main problem is not the virus, but the immune hyperreaction that destroys the cell where the virus is installed.In fact, patients with rheumatoid arthritis have never needed to be admitted to the ICU because they are on corticosteroid therapy, which is a great anti-inflammatory.With this important discovery, it is possible to return to normal life and open closed deals due to the quarantine, though not immediately, but with time.Kindly share so that the health authorities of each country can make their respective analysis of this information, prevent further deaths and redirect investments appropriately; the vaccine may come later."
The post, which has seen over 2,000 shares already, appears to be based off of a now-deleted LinkedIn post.
It makes several false claims, but the crux of the message is entirely wrong, according to Dr. Carlos del Rio, a specialist in AIDS, influenza, global health and public health at Emory University.
Del Rio said that the post's author, or whoever shared it first, apparently read incorrectly an Italian study looking at the cause of death of COVID-19 patients. Or a German study published in JAMA on May 21 that studied postmortem exams between April 4 and April 19.
In an email to Lead Stories, del Rio said of the Facebook post, "It is simply wrong. The autopsies clearly show Diffuse Alveolar Damage (DAD) which was similar to that seen in SARS and MERS...This is a viral pneumonitis."
He added that, "There are microvascular thrombi identified but that is in addition to and that is why most of these patients are put on anticoagulants if they have no contraindication but the coagulopathy we see is likely due to inflammation and not a primary process."
This subject was looked at in the Lancet in a May 11 article titled, "Coagulation abnormalities and thrombosis in patients with COVID-19."
Although most patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) predominantly have a respiratory tract infection, a proportion of patients progress to a more severe and systemic disease, characterised by treatment-resistant pyrexia, acute lung injury with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), shock, and multiple organ dysfunction, associated with substantial mortality. Many patients with severe COVID-19 present with coagulation abnormalities that mimic other systemic coagulopathies associated with severe infections, such as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) or thrombotic microangiopathy, but COVID-19 has distinct features. Coagulopathy in patients with COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk of death. Furthermore, the relevance of COVID-19-coagulation abnormalities are becoming increasingly clear as a substantial proportion of patients with severe COVID-19 develop, sometimes unrecognised, venous and arterial thromboembolic complications.
The Facebook post claims that "Autopsies performed by the Italian pathologists has shown that it is not pneumonia but it is Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (Thrombosis) which ought to be fought with antibiotics, antivirals, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants."
This is false simply on the premise, as Politifact has reported, that antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections. The novel coronavirus is just that -- a virus -- and antibiotics do not work against viruses. As the FDA reports:
Antibiotics do not prevent or treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19), because COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Some patients with COVID-19 may also develop a bacterial infection, such as pneumonia. In that case, a health care professional may treat the bacterial infection with an antibiotic.