According to researchers and doctors in northern Italy, the long-term effects of COVID-19 could be far worse than originally thought, even in people with a mild infection.
Psychosis, insomnia, kidney disease, spinal infections, strokes, chronic fatigue and mobility problems have been identified in previous cases Corona virus Patients in Lombardy, the worst affected region in the country.
Doctors warn that some victims may never recover from the disease and that all ages are at risk.
The virus is a systemic infection that affects all organs of the body and is not, as previously thought, just a respiratory illness.
Some people may find that their ability to work properly, focus, and even engage in physical activity is severely affected.
Doctors warn that people who do not consider themselves vulnerable and do not deal with the disease could put themselves at risk of life-changing diseases if they ignore the safety rules.
They emphasize that the need for social distance, washing hands and masks is more important than ever before.
The warnings come in the face of growing concerns in northern Italy that a second wave of the virus could be imminent. Doctors in two of the region’s main hospitals have reported a handful of new cases of critically ill people with breathing problems.
Dr. Roberto Cosentini, head of emergencies at Papa Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo, monitored the response to the virus that has hit this alpine province and killed at least 6,000 people.
He gave Sky News unprecedented access to the hospital’s emergency rooms when the first shocking effects of the virus were broadcast worldwide and changed the perception of the scale of the problem.
Now he is again trying to issue a worldwide warning COVID-19 is a deadly killer that affects the whole body and does not go away.
“At first we thought it was a bad flu, then we thought it was a bad flu with a very bad pneumonia. It was the phase in which you came here, but later we found that it was a systemic disease vascular damage deals with kidney involvement throughout the body, brain involvement, “he told me in the now quiet COVID-19 emergency room, which was overwhelmed a few months ago.
“So we see other acute manifestations of kidney failure that require dialysis or stroke, and then an acute myocardial infarction, which means many complications or other manifestations of the virus.
“And now we’re seeing a significant portion of the population with chronic virus damage.”
One of the few positive outcomes of the pandemic that devastated healthcare here was the creation of a unique environment in which doctors and experts in different fields worked together for months and effectively learned new skills. This collaboration helps to understand the virus.
Dr. Emanuela Catenacci is a neurosurgeon at Cremona Hospital. When we first met her in March, she was co-opted to work in the intensive care unit during the worst outbreak.
She is back in neurology, but crucial, while in the past she would have treated patients completely independently of other departments, she can now see the connection. This link is COVID-19 and a multi-organ killer.
“We now have a practice in our hospital with immunologists who examine these patients, especially the heaviest and heaviest, and not only examine the lungs but all systemic manifestations of COVID pathology,” she told me.
“The virus is a systemic infection. Some of our apparatus organs have the greatest manifestation, like the lungs, as we know, but also the brain, skin and sometimes we have vasculitis, so not.” [just] high respiratory infection or low respiratory infection, it’s not done [at] that, “she said.
The results of the Italian doctors on their patients reflect a study recently carried out at University College London.
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The researchers identified serious neurological complications from COVID-19, including delirium, inflammation of the brain, stroke, and nerve damage in 43 people aged 16 to 85 years.
Some of the patients had no serious breathing problems at all, with the neurological disorder being the first and only indication that they had a coronavirus.
An intensive test and follow-up analysis of all survivors was started in Bergamo. Teams of doctors examine those who are constantly recovering and try to track the changing properties of the virus.
Filippo Alcaini, 65, is one of the survivors who are being tested.
He was intubated in February after a serious illness, but recovered. He has been COVID-19-free for four months, but still has difficulty breathing and periods of severe exhaustion. It accepts its persistent condition, but sends a clear warning to people to be careful not to intercept the virus under any circumstances.
“For those who don’t respect the rules, I wish they could have a week of what I felt, a week that they felt as bad as I did,” he told me.
“Perhaps then they will understand that they cannot underestimate the many warnings and binding rules that have been given to us.”
The doctors who run the follow-up and testing program say they just don’t know enough about the virus to predict what will happen next.
“It’s something completely different that changes the patient’s body,” Dr. Gianluca Imeri.
“We have also seen forms of asthma that develop after coronavirus infections. We know for sure that the damage to the coronavirus is caused by inflammation, and asthma and other respiratory diseases are inflammatory diseases, and there are also some inflammatory diseases in ours Bodies that can occur are developed and triggered by coronavirus.
“Simple coronavirus pneumonia is something that patients will fully recover from a radiological point of view, but probably the biggest change is inflammation. I mean, we’ve seen inflammation in all of their bodies, vascular systems, and respiratory systems, so we I think we need to fight inflammation in these patients even if they recover from the acute phase of the disease. “
So little is known about the virus that long-term planning is a guess.
Doctors believe that even the youngest and mildest infected are at risk of changing their lives forever, and it could take years for it to become apparent. As a result, entire workers could become less productive.
The advice from Italy is simple: don’t infect.