Sunday, January 29, 2023 | Rajab 6, 1444 H
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Is long corona still mysterious?

The Corona pandemic (Covid-19) may have become part of the past, but its consequences still exist, especially for people who survived it. Despite treatment and long hospitalization, some of them still suffer from lung damage.

These patients often face the same socio-economic factors that made them initially vulnerable to COVID-19 and they will undoubtedly require vigilant care.

When I raise the issue of long coronavirus here, it is because there is a more fundamental problem that eludes efforts to reveal the true estimate (of the possibility of this case).

Quite simply, long corona is not one thing. Long viral infections, which appear in global medical reports, fall into a few approximate categories. The first appears to be the most easily explained: a combination of organ damage, often severe physical debilitation and poor mental health caused by severe pneumonia and disease dangerous result.

Perhaps now these serious and long-term complications of Corona receive only relatively little media attention in most countries, despite their severity. We must not forget that this virus can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome, the most dangerous form of pulmonary illness, which in turn can lead to a downward spiral of inflammation and infection that can eventually destroy nearly every organ. Doctors have noticed and many of us have heard of these complications in the intensive care unit at the hospital: heart failure, collapsed lungs, kidney failure, brain insult ,interruption of blood flow and more. This means that perhaps millions around the world could be left with damaged lungs or complications from serious illnesses.

My question here is really, are these patients’ needs for care and rehabilitation being adequately (and equitably) met? Certainly, making sure that it represents an urgent priority is a duty on the health institutions of many societies.

On the other hand, and the follow-up to long corona in some medical reports, there are new beginnings of recognized medical conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, or blood clot – after a light infection with corona. It may seem strange that an upper respiratory infection could lead to a heart attack. However, this pattern has been well described after infection with other common respiratory viruses, especially influenza. Likewise, different types of infections can lead to blood clots in the legs, which can travel (dangerously) to the lungs.

More importantly, researchers still do not understand why some people with mild coronavirus recover easily while others continue to experience such complications. Here, some may argue with me that such syndromes are not actually related to long corona! I may agree with them here, especially since there are still no acceptable objective diagnostic tests or biomarkers.

In addition, although no specific long-term coronavirus medications have emerged, some treatments may be helpful in improving certain symptoms regardless of the specific disease, such as physical rehabilitation therapies for those with shortness of breath or reduced exercise tolerance. In a way, ensuring universal access to this specialized rehabilitative care is essential as we enter the next phase of this pandemic.

In the end, probably specialists and scientists still have a lot to learn about symptoms that persist – or appear for the first time – months after the initial infection with the Corona virus. What is clear today is that this long corona could be many different things. It is true that a mild infection with coronavirus may be associated with at least a wide spectrum of each disease, but after this time has passed, I find that researchers and specialists need a much better classification to address the suffering of people and discuss its repercussions, with the huge variety of those symptoms or complications, which should not be Stands in the way of caring for all who suffer.

Dr Yousuf Ali Al Mulla is a physician, medical innovator and writer.

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