What systems of the body can COVID-19 affect?COVID is a collection of symptoms that can last weeks, months, or weeks after you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
From Dr. Chetan Rao Vaddepally,
“Will I ever live a normal life again?” A question on the mind of every patient affected by COVID-19. As the pandemic continues, the suffering continues, and even after testing negative for the virus, one has to suffer several other complications. This is a long road to recovery and it will take time to get back to normal. There is much to be learned and understood about the permanent effects of severe respiratory viral infections and the treatment and prevention of post-infectious complications, particularly those associated with COVID-19.
Post-COVID illnesses are new, recurring, or persistent health problems that can appear more than four weeks after you were first infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Even people who have no symptoms when infected can have the post-COVID illness.
Long-term COVID is a collection of symptoms that can last weeks or months after you were first infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, or appear several weeks after you were infected. People with long-term reports of COVID have a different combination of symptoms such as fatigue or tiredness, difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes called “brain fog”), headache, loss of smell or taste, dizziness on standing, fast heartbeat or heartbeat (also known as B. Palpitations), chest pain, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, cough, joint or muscle pain, depression or anxiety, fever. Persistent COVID-19 disease can occur in anyone who has had COVID-19, even if the disease is mild or asymptomatic.
The multi-organic effects of COVID-19
Multi-organ effects can affect most, if not all, body systems, including the function of the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, and brain. Multi-organ effects can also include conditions that occur after COVID-19, such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) and autoimmune diseases. It is not known how long the effects of the multi-organ system can last and whether the effects lead to chronic health conditions.
Some of the complications that have increased since recovery include:
Poor movement tolerance
This is a serious complication caused by coronavirus infection and decreased physical activity. This could be due to the effects or damage to the lungs, heart, blood vessels, or muscle changes caused by the virus.
Pulmonary or respiratory complications
The most common long-term complication of COVID-19 is a lung disease. Most COVID-19 patients make a full recovery, with the exception of some minor complications such as coughing and shortness of breath. However, some patients develop excessive lung damage and some of them develop pulmonary fibrosis. Patients may also experience post-viral bronchial hyperreactivity with symptoms similar to those of asthma. Secondary infections such as bacterial, fungal (mucormycosis, aspergillosis), tuberculosis are observed.
Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that occurs in immunocompromised hosts. It appears as a respiratory or skin infection and is mainly caused by exposure of the fungus to Mucormycetes by inhaling the spores of the exposed fungus into the air, also known as sinus (lung) exposure. When the infection spreads to the brain through the nasal passages it is called rhinocerebral mucormycosis, when it spreads to the lungs it is called pulmonary mucormycosis, on the skin, it is called cutaneous mucormycosis, and when it spreads through the bloodstream. When it spreads, it is called disseminated mucormycosis
Predisposing factors for mucormycosis can be uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, steroid immunosuppression, prolonged intensive care, comorbidities after transplantation/malignancy, voriconazole therapy. In patients with mucormycosis, it is recommended to monitor hyperglycemia, monitor blood sugar levels after removing COVID-19, as well as in diabetics, use steroids wisely, use clean and sterile water because moisturizers / antifungal drugs must be consumed with caution. It is always better to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms. Do not treat all nasal congestion as bacterial sinusitis, especially in the context of immunosuppression and/or patients with COVID-19 immunomodulators. Don’t waste critical time to start mucormycosis treatment because if left untreated it can lead to death.
Recent studies report an increased risk of heart failure in patients with COVID-19. Cardiac complications have been reported following acute coronary syndrome (ACS), acute myocardial infarction (stroke), arrhythmias, persistent hypotension, and infectious myocarditis.
Injury to the heart muscle
Heart damage or heart muscle complications are observed after a few days or weeks of recovery. COVID-19 infection can cause inflammation in various parts of the body, which can lead to the weakening of the heart muscle, abnormal heart rhythms, and even the formation of blood clots in blood vessels. Complications such as myocarditis or inflammation of the heart cause the blood to stop pumping properly, the arteries to narrow, high blood pressure occurs, and thus to become prone to heart attacks.
Kidney damage or failure
Elevated levels of protein in the urine and abnormal blood function confirm kidney problems in patients, including those who did not have kidney problems before Covid. Patients with high blood pressure and diabetes with COVID-19 have a higher risk of developing kidney complications after COVID-19. Some complications may even require dialysis. This organ acts as a filter for the body, removing excess water, toxins, and waste products from the body. In this way, its proper function plays an important role. Blood clots can block small blood vessels in the kidneys and cause damage.
Although it is a widespread disease, it is also considered a complication after COVID. It is a chronic disease in which blood sugar or blood sugar becomes very high. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose enter cells. However, when the body does not produce enough glucose, it stays in the bloodstream and causes various health problems.
Central nervous system complications
Reported complications include; acute stroke, encephalopathy, Guillain-Barré syndrome, taste disturbances, odor disturbances, vision, and neuropathy.
Brain Disease – Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy
Acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE) is an immune-mediated disorder that occurs frequently after infection with mycoplasma, influenza A, and herpes simplex virus, but has recently been observed in patients with postcoidosis and rarely in children. The coronavirus binds to the ACE receptor, which is abundant in glial cells and arterial smooth cells in the brain, which is why neurological manifestations are observed with Covid 19 and after complications of Covid.
The mechanism of entry into the CNS would be the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone or hematogenous spread. Covid 19 with cytokine storm causes immune-mediated damage with central nervous system distortion, but the exact pathophysiology is unknown. , doubtful consciousness.
MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children) can also occur with seizures, irritability and food intolerance, as well as shortness of breath and hypotension. As both are immune-mediated and due to post-covid complications, they tend to be similar, but ANE-MRI results are hyperintense of T2 and FLAIR in the basal ganglia, inner capsule, thalamus, cerebellum, and rarely in the occipital and parietal regions.
MIS-C shows fever, rash, difficulty breathing, hypotension, vomiting, and clotting disorders. This is due to the constant increase in IgG, which activates monocytes, greater activation of T lymphocytes. A large number of ANEs are seen in children. Many cases of MIS-C have been reported in children and adolescents. Since COVID is an inflammatory disease, we tend to see this complication with direct damage to the central nervous system. Direct virus invasion is another possibility. ANE is a life-threatening condition. Immediate intensive care, MRI to look for abnormalities in the brain, EEG to look for subclinical seizures, and CSF analysis are needed to rule out CNS infection.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease that leads to pro-inflammatory and prothrombotic conditions, leading to micro and macrovascular thrombosis and arterial and venous thrombotic events. including venous thromboembolism, myocardial damage/infarction, and stroke. Complications such as acute pulmonary thromboembolism, deep vein thrombosis, acute limb ischemia/gangrene, and mesenteric ischemia have been reported.
Anxiety, depression, insomnia, poor concentration, anhedonia and suicide have also been reported.
Anxiety and depression
It appears in patients as a result of the stress of the pandemic and the struggle against the disease itself. Apart from being an infection that affects the respiratory tract, COVID-19 has a huge impact on a person’s mental state.
It is a sleep disorder that affects the central nervous system, where a person’s sleep cycle is affected, resulting in slower recovery. Several factors can cause this condition, including anxiety, stress, and loneliness. This is more true for patients who are left alone for weeks in hospital or in isolation and thus make insomnia after COVID more difficult.
As the list of complications grows every day, the uncertainty we face during the pandemic has become a part of our lives. To avoid such complications, it is advisable to avoid infection with preventive measures.
Other organ complications
Acute liver failure, gastrointestinal complications such as acute intestinal ischemia, and gangrene.
Skin complications such as hemorrhagic blisters with blood clots in the blisters and dissecting hematoma, isolated herpetiform lesions, petechial rash.
(The author is Leggo TV. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult health experts and medical professionals before starting any therapy or medication.