Japanese researchers from Chiba University have identified a protein that can foretell severe Covid-19 cases, potentially making it possible to predict the severity of a patient's symptoms. The scientists discovered that the protein -- myosin light chain 9 (Myl9) -- increased in volume in blood vessels among patients with more serious signs of the coronavirus. Immunology professor Kiyoshi Hirahara and her team examined inflamation around pulmonary blood vessels of patients who died of Covid-19. They found that the virus damaged blood vessels, which caused Myl9, which contributes to the creation of blood platelets, to swarm around blood clots. According to "The Asahi Shimbun", in a study of 123 hospitalized patients across 11 medical centers, Myl9 levels were 3-5 times higher in those with moderate cases and 10-fold in patients who died of Covid-19, than those with mild cases. At an August 1, 2022 news conference, Hirahara stated, "If a simple kit could be developed that could measure the concentration of Myl9, the severity of patients’ conditions could be predicted, that would help determine which patients to hospitalize first."

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