Long Covid

Covid-19 discussion, bring your own statistics
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lpm
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Long Covid

Post by lpm » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:33 am

Sounds grim as. Particularly the possible impact on the nervous system and brain.

But I don't have a sense of context.

Is it normal? Do most almost-fatal infections leave damage for months or permanent damage? Some of the sufferers of Long Covid were close to death for days or weeks, only alive due to medical science - is long term damage a normal consequence? But some were only normally ill with Covid, yet still suffer months afterwards.

Is it just the scale of the epidemic? With 300,000 official UK cases, are we just looking at 0.01% outliers? Would we see similar long symptoms for other infections, but there's just never enough to be noticeable?

The 1918 pandemic caused damage to the brain and nervous system for millions of people world wide. There appears to be a link between severe flu and depression. Are we heading to disability from lung damage, early death, and disability from brain damage?
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Woodchopper
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Re: Long Covid

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:02 am

lpm wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:33 am
Is it just the scale of the epidemic? With 300,000 official UK cases, are we just looking at 0.01% outliers?
There's some info here from the UK's Covid Symptom Study. Looks like symptoms lasting longer than three weeks affect a lot more than 0.01%.
https://covid19.joinzoe.com/post/covid-long-term

ETA
How the novel coronavirus attacks our entire body
COVID-19 is known primarily as a respiratory illness. However, the aggressive pathogen SARS-CoV-2 attacks not only the lungs but also the heart, nerves, brain, vessels, kidneys and skin.
https://www.dw.com/en/how-the-novel-cor ... a-53389908

bagpuss
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Re: Long Covid

Post by bagpuss » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:11 am

Pneumonia is known to have longer term effects on mortality, the brain and mental health as well. I can't find stats to compare "normal" pneumonia with SARS-Cov-2, though, so don't know if the latter is worse than regular pneumonia. If no-one else beats me to it, I'll try and have a look later. But it seems extremely likely that there will be further deaths happening earlier than they otherwise would have, plus other significant impairments to health affecting those who have "recovered" from SARS-Cov-2.

Chucking an anecdote into the mix, my grandfather-in-law was diagnosed with vascular dementia while still in hospital recovering from pneumonia. He was 96 so it's possible that it was just his age but from an entirely layperson's perspective, he was very well for his age and showing no signs of dementia detectable to me when I last saw him a couple of months before his pneumonia but it was unmissable when we saw him in hospital when he was recovering after the pneumonia.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Long Covid

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:25 am

Something similar happened with my grandmother, at a similar age, but with a fall rather than pneumonia. I think the break in routine, unfamiliar surroundings and circumstances all contribute to the apparently "sudden" appearance of symptoms, at least as much as the trauma and effects of medication etc.
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Gentleman Jim
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Re: Long Covid

Post by Gentleman Jim » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:42 am

Since vascular dementia is linked to reduced oxygen levels in the brain, either though blockage or bleeding, and any lung infection will reduce oxygen levels in the blood, then I guess the two will be inter-linked.
I know from my mother's case that her dementia worsened noticeably after each TIA
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Woodchopper
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Re: Long Covid

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:35 pm

Many of those who survive a severe bout of covid-19 are likely to have long-term health problems. The Society of Critical Care Medicine based in America has identified a collection of health problems including poor muscle strength and sub-par heart and lung function as “post-intensive care syndrome”; people who have had ARDS get it worse than most. Damaged lungs and kidneys can be expected to make good a lot of the harm done to them once a crisis is over, but for some it will take time, and long-term loss of function is possible.

A big worry is what happens to the brain. Sherry Chou of the University of Pittsburgh says that there is no evidence so far that SARS-COV-2 directly harms the brain or the central nervous system, but in parts of the brain, the spinal cord and the nerves the inflammation associated with the disease can lead to muscle weakness and other problems.

The mere fact of being in an ICU can also lead to cognitive impairment. The effect of more than a week in intensive care is comparable to that of a major head injury. The problems are linked to the delirium people often fall into when severely ill and heavily sedated in an unfamiliar environment. Delirium is a particular problem with covid-19, says Dale Needham of Johns Hopkins University. Patients spend a long time in the ICU during which they see no one they know—and the strangers caring for them in heavy-duty protective wear “look like aliens”.

Patients who have come through ARDS may also suffer from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. It all adds up to a bleak prospect. In 2017 a study in the Baltimore-Washington area found that a third of previously employed patients who survived ARDS were not back at work five years on. Covid-19 will cast as long a shadow over some survivors’ lives as it will over those who mourn the dead.
https://www.economist.com/briefing/2020 ... n-covid-19

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Woodchopper
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Re: Long Covid

Post by Woodchopper » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:05 am

Scientists just beginning to understand the many health problems caused by COVID-19

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN23X1BZ

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jimbob
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Re: Long Covid

Post by jimbob » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:14 am

Dr Nisreen Alwan of Southampton has been talking about the unknown long-term effects even before she was infected.

Here's one of her latest tweets on the subject.

https://twitter.com/Dr2NisreenAlwan/sta ... 64576?s=20

one of here earlier points about it:
https://twitter.com/Dr2NisreenAlwan/sta ... 81344?s=20
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Woodchopper
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Re: Long Covid

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:26 am

Persistent Symptoms in Patients After Acute COVID-19
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/f ... le/2768351

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Re: Long Covid

Post by Woodchopper » Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:08 am

Warning of serious brain disorders in people with mild coronavirus symptoms
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... SApp_Other

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lpm
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Re: Long Covid

Post by lpm » Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:03 am

This doesn't sound very nice:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/10/heal ... index.html
The autopsies also showed something unusual about megakaryocytes, or large bone marrow cells. They usually don't circulate outside the bones and lungs, Rapkiewicz said.

"We found them in the heart and the kidneys and the liver and other organs," she said. "Notably in the heart, megakaryocytes produce something called platelets that are intimately involved in blood clotting."
Implies hidden damage to organs of survivors?
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