For a long time or forever: for what period can be complications of coronavirus

For six months scientists and doctors are trying to assess the damage it causes to the human body Covid-19, however, despite more than 400 thousand deaths, millions of survivors and thousands of studies and reports, the picture is still not clear. About it writes BBC.

Надолго или навсегда: на какой период могут остаться осложнения после коронавируса

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Data collected by British researchers, suggests that the primary symptoms may appear, disappear and re-emerge within 30 days, which is considerably longer than the official two-week period designated by the who experts.

And for some, the disease can only mean the beginning of a long and painful fight the virus that can lead to new “postcolonialism syndrome”.

According to the authoritative journal Science, the coronavirus “is doing things which did not create any illness known to mankind”.

While the government has taken one measure after another in an attempt to stop the spread of infection, and the doctors sought a cure or vaccine is able to overcome the disease, people learned about the coronavirus, all new details, and our view of it has changed, and in some aspects fundamentally.

At first it seemed that this is a common respiratory disease like SARS or avian flu, however it turned out that the coronavirus (its official name is SARS-CoV-2) may affect the lungs, brain, sinuses, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, kidneys and intestines, that is literally all vital organs.

According to the results of the research, Covid-19 is accompanied by a set of a variety of symptoms, and for those who have had severe, long-term consequences can be very serious, the scarring of lung tissue and kidney failure, to inflammation of the heart muscle, arrhythmia, liver damage, cognitive disorders, psychoses, accompanied by a sharp change of mood, and more.

How the disease will affect people in the long term remains to be seen fully, but now there are many indications that the effects of this disease continue to experience even those who have been exposed to coronavirus in a simple way.

There is another important question: can the virus SARS-CoV-2 to persist in the human body in a dormant state, and will not show it after a few years in one form or another?

Nothing surprising in this, say doctors, after all, known viruses that behave this way. For example, once people have had chickenpox, the herpes virus that caused it, does not disappear, he can quietly hide for decades and then when the opportunity to turn into painful shingles.

But the virus that causes hepatitis B, many years may lead to liver cancer.

Even the Ebola virus, discovered after many months in the surviving patients in the ocular fluid subsequently causes blindness in 40% of infected people.

Therefore, given the fact that SARS-CoV-2 prefers light, the doctors suspected that it was there in the first place the virus is able to cause irreversible changes.


In March the experts of Wuhan University of technology reported that in 66 of the 70 patients who survived pneumonia on a background Covid-19, CT found visible damage in the lungs.

These injuries ranged from blockage of blood vessels in the alveoli to scarring of the lung tissue. This scarring or thickening of the tissue called pulmonary fibrosis and can lead to shortness of breath. Currently there is no way to stop or reverse this process.

“Fibrosis can stabilize and not change over time, it’s true. In some patients, lung function may not recover completely, but the impact will not be so significant, says Professor Leicester University Louise Wayne. But there are cases of progressive fibrosis, but it’s really dangerous, because sooner or later he kills.”

In addition, prior to the introduction of Britain’s tough quarantine Department of intensive care medicine (FICM) is a professional medical organization, responsible for the training of British doctors, intensive care, warned that patients with severe Covid-19 can get such severe damage to the lungs that the recovery they will need up to 15 years.

FICM emphasized that many of the patients admitted in the intensive care unit, developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in severe pneumonia, in which fluid from the blood enters the alveoli, making breathing impossible without special apparatus.

Given the history of damage to the lung tissue in patients who recover from SARS and MERS, a group of physicians under the direction of radiologist Melina Hosseini, University of California, Los Angeles strongly recommends monitoring patients who recover from Covid-19, and test their lungs “to assess the long-term or permanent damage, including fibrosis”.

The heart and blood vessels

As soon as the doctors are trying to assess the damage to various organs of patients who recover from Covid-19, they faced expected problem: people suffering from diseases of the lungs, heart, kidneys or blood, usually become the first victims of the coronavirus, and in their case the disease is most often proceeded hard. Therefore, it is not always possible to determine what caused the virus and what’s already been damaged before.

But one thing is clear: when the symptoms of the infection begin to appear, the functions of many organs violated, and the failure of one leads to denial of others.

The role played by acute inflammation that leads to strokes and heart attacks.

As stated in the report for March published in a specialised medical journal JAMA Cardiology, damage to the cardiac muscles were observed in almost 20% of the 416 patients in Wuhan hospitals.

There, but in intensive care units, arrhythmia was observed in 44% of the 36 patients.

Doctors attribute this to hypercytokinemia, or cytokine storm, a potentially fatal reaction of the body, which triggers uncontrolled activation of immune cells that leads to the destruction of tissue inflammation. This reaction was observed in some patients with coronavirus.

In particular, there is inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) that knocks the electrical impulses leads to Artemiy and disrupts the blood circulation, causing shortness of breath.

Complications on the cardiovascular system are characteristic not only for Covid-19: myocarditis can cause many viral diseases. Although most patients recover, some damage to heart muscle is irreversible.

Moreover, Covid-19 adversely affects the blood. 38% of the 184 patients with the coronavirus, who are in the intensive care unit in the Netherlands, revealed increased blood clotting, and almost a third of them revealed the blood clots.


Although the coronavirus affects primarily the lungs, some patients infection has spread to the kidneys.

According to a China research sample, 27% of 85 patients, who are in Wuhan hospital with coronavirus were identified as problems with the kidneys.

According to the results of another study, 59% of the nearly 200 patients hospitalized in the provinces of Hubei and Sichuan in the urine protein was observed, indicating infection, and 44% were present and the blood that indicates a serious kidney damage.

Moreover, the patients with acute renal failure (ARF) the risk of death was 5 times higher than normal in patients with coronavirus.


Of the 214 patients with Covid-19-third showed neurological symptoms, including dizziness, headache, and cognitive disorders.

Yet scientists can only guess what caused these symptoms. However, existing theory focuses on how the virus affects the neurons — the nerve cells. Mentioned loss of taste and smell, and inflammatory processes (thus the virus reacts with our immune system), and lack of oxygen, I felt some patients.

Cognitive disorders can be associated with the stay of patients in intensive care, they call it a temporary lapse of sanity or delirium when a person experiences hallucinations, however, it is often seen in the elderly.

Although symptoms usually eventually disappear, some may remain. According to doctors, the restoration of cognitive functions in survivors coronavirus is highly dependent on age, comorbidity (i.e., coexistence in a patient of two or more diseases or disorders) and the severity of the disease.

As pointed out by Professor of rehabilitation medicine, king’s College London Lynne Turner-Stokes, the virus can affect the brain, even those patients who had been ill in a fairly easy manner.

And according to the Professor of the University of Cambridge ed Bullmore, we already have sufficient reason to believe that SARS-CoV-2 causes “neurotoxic disease” which leads to “a kind of change in the mental condition of the patient.”

“We don’t know exactly what causes this neurotoxicity — recognized Professor Bullmore. — Maybe the virus infects the brain, can be the reaction of our immune system to the virus leads to the damage of neurons or in the blood, which enters the brain. At this moment all of these options”.


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