Covid-19: what do we know about the after-effects?

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The Academy of Medicine recently listed all the sequelae caused by the coronavirus. Pulmonary, cerebral, and even psychic.

Curing Covid-19 does not mean stopping feeling all the symptoms… The virus leaves traces on the human body. The Academy of Medicine has recently listed the sequelae of the coronavirus, especially present in patients who have suffered from a severe form.

There are two main groups of sequelae: “The first brings together those of organic attacks of the acute phase, not or little reversible. The second includes poorly labeled complex disorders occurring a few weeks after recovery, the origin and fate of which remain unknown,” notes the Academy.

Respiratory disorders

Interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, due to the high production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, caused by viral infection, is the most common. It is not necessary to have had a severe form to experience this symptom of respiratory discomfort. Hyperpressure in the respiratory tract can also occur after artificial ventilation, as well as anoxia, which is a consequence of the lack of oxygen supplied. Concretely, patients with this type of respiratory sequelae present a progressive decline in respiratory function and more sensitivity to respiratory infections, emphasizes the Academy.

Cardiac and nervous disorders

The cardiac sequelae of the coronavirus mainly concern patients with severe forms. The most common disorder is inflammatory myocarditis, the consequence of which can be left ventricular failure. The central nervous system may also have sequelae of Sars-CoV-2. Most often, it is anoxia (lack of oxygen) which is responsible for it. But in rarer cases, the brain can be directly infected with the virus. In general, brain damage can contribute to breathing difficulties.

Kidney and muscle breakdown

Most of the patients immobilized for several weeks in intensive care have sarcopenia, a muscle wasting that requires reeducation. Another possible sequel: on the kidneys. In the acute phase of the disease, kidney damage is not uncommon. There too, they can be directly linked to the virus (necrosis) or indirectly linked (disorder of the balance of sodium, potassium, water intake…). Depending on the type, they are more or less reversible.

“Untagged disorders”

More diffuse, less easy to understand and explain, Covid-19 disease also causes disorders similar to trauma, both physically and mentally. Many spontaneously healed patients complain of return of fatigue, pain, general malaise, memory loss… Their duration varies, and clinical examinations do not reveal any dysfunction. Only support to fight against pain and fatigue is possible.

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