Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill characterized the specific ways in which SARS-CoV-2 infects the nasal cavity to a great degree — replicating specific cell types — and infects and replicates progressively less well in cells lower down the respiratory tract. The findings suggest the virus tends to become firmly established first in the nasal cavity, but in some cases the virus is aspirated into the lungs, where it may cause more serious disease, including potentially fatal pneumonia.
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