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

edited June 26 in Off-Topic
This deserves more emphasis....
Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts.

....recovery can be slow, incomplete and costly, with a huge impact on quality of life.


  • You're right. This is interesting and important.
  • From that article: a summary of some of the problems, possibly catastrophic, caused by COVID-19:

    • It goes after the pancreas.
    • It goes after the heart.
    • It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs.

    • blood clotting disorders that can lead to strokes
    • extreme inflammation that attacks multiple organ systems.
    • headache, dizziness and loss of taste or smell
    • seizures and confusion.
    • weakness and muscle pain

    • Recovery can be slow, incomplete and costly, with a huge impact on quality of life.

    • Patients who were in the intensive care unit or on a ventilator for weeks will need to spend extensive time in rehab to regain mobility and strength.

    • It’s harder the older you are, and you may never get back to the same level of function.
  • edited June 27

    he virus that ravaged Northeastern U.S. cities is surging through Southern and Western states. It’s different this time.
    Younger people are getting sick with Covid-19. States that had brief coronavirus lockdowns are struggling to encourage social distancing and mask-wearing. Many people appear to have embraced their usual summer rituals. Health officials are sounding alarms about a surge in cases racing not through nursing homes, but bars and house parties. Hospitals are filling with medically-vulnerable elderly—but also 20-somethings and patients in their 30s and 40s.
    Some took the end of stay-home orders as permission to live their lives again, unimpeded. Phoenix entrepreneur Jimmy Flores, 30, spent the night of June 6 at a nightclub with friends, sharing drinks. Two days later, he felt sick. The next week, he was on a hospital oxygen tube after testing positive for Covid-19.
  • Here is an another side effect to add to the list:
    Called hospital delirium...the condition is bedeviling coronavirus patients of all ages with no previous cognitive impairment. Reports from hospitals and researchers suggest that about two-thirds to three-quarters of coronavirus patients in I.C.U.’s have experienced it in various ways. Some have “hyperactive delirium,” paranoid hallucinations and agitation; some have “hypoactive delirium,” internalized visions and confusion that cause patients to become withdrawn and incommunicative; and some have both.
  • It is also depend on the individual's health situation.. I have friends who were affected but have mild symptoms. They have since fully recovered and everything checked out fine for now. They were lucky to get inflected while at overseas and managed to recovered in the States.
  • edited July 4
    Here is a short article that looks at current state of knowledge about the varied long-term effects of Covid-19. One interesting observation:
    Both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) infect cells through ACE2 receptors...But “SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t need that many ACE2 receptors...The virus that causes Covid-19 can worm its way into any cell with an ACE2 receptor, regardless of the concentration. That includes cells along the back of the throat, in the digestive tract, in the heart, in the kidneys, and even in the brain.

  • Looks like by May 30th we were almost back to seasonal baseline...slight excess cases (which includes pneumonia, influenza and Covid-19).

    CDC Dashboard for up to date data (you can make selections):
  • Regarding neurological symptoms:
    "Based on such data and anecdotal reports, Isaac Solomon, a neuropathologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, set out to systematically investigate where the virus might be embedding itself in the brain. He conducted autopsies of 18 consecutive deaths, taking slices of key areas: the cerebral cortex (the gray matter responsible for information processing), thalamus (modulates sensory inputs), basal ganglia (responsible for motor control) and others. Each was divided into a three-dimensional grid. Ten sections were taken from each and studied.

    He found snippets of virus in only some areas, and it was unclear whether they were dead remnants or active virus when the patient died. There were only small pockets of inflammation. But there were large swaths of damage due to oxygen deprivation. Whether the deceased were longtime intensive care patients or people who died suddenly, Solomon said, the pattern was eerily similar.

    “We were very surprised,” he said.

    When the brain does not get enough oxygen, individual neurons die, and that death is permanent. To a certain extent, people’s brains can compensate, but at some point, the damage is so extensive that different functions start to degrade.

    On a practical level, Solomon said, if the virus is not getting into the brain in large amounts, that helps with drug development because treatment becomes trickier when it is pervasive, for instance, in some patients with West Nile or HIV. Another takeaway is that the findings underscore the importance of getting people on supplementary oxygen quickly to prevent irreversible damage.

    Solomon, whose work was published as a June 12 letter in the New England Journal of Medicine, said the findings suggest the damage had been happening over a longer period of time, which makes him wonder about the virus’s effect on people who are less ill. “The big lingering question is what happens to people who survive covid,” he said. “Is there a lingering effect on the brain?”

    The team from Mount Sinai Health, which took tissue findings from 20 brains, was also perplexed not to find a lot of virus or inflammation. However, the group noted in a paper that the widespread presence of tiny clots was “striking.”

    “If you have one blood clot in the brain, we see that all the time. But what we’re seeing is, some patients are having multiple strokes in blood vessels that are in two or even three different territories,” Fowkes said.

    Rapkiewicz said it is too early to know whether the newest batch of autopsy findings can be translated into treatment changes, but the information has opened new avenues to explore. One of her first calls after noticing the unusual platelet-producing cells was to Jeffrey Berger, a cardiac specialist at NYU who runs a National Institutes of Health-funded lab that focuses on platelets.

    Berger said the autopsies suggest anti-platelet medications, in addition to blood thinners, may be helpful to stem the effects of covid-19. He has pivoted a major clinical trial looking at optimal doses of blood thinners to examine that question as well.

    “It’s only one piece of a very big puzzle, and we have a lot more to learn,” he said. “But if we can prevent significant complications and if more patients can survive the infection, that changes everything.”"
    Coronavirus autopsies: A story of 38 brains, 87 lungs and 42 hearts

    Deaths might not be the best indicator at this time. They will lag by a couple of weeks & hopefully be impacted by better treatment (such as Dexamethasone, blood thinners, Remdesivir, etc.), so overall hospitalizations may have better outcomes. Paradoxically, this might put more burden on hospitals. In addition, there is not always consistency in reporting deaths (either inadvertently or intentionally).

    I tend to look at positivity rate (8% for the U.S. as of July 2) & hospitalization/ICU usage.

    This is a good site for coronavirus statistics for the US:

    United States COVID-19 Statistics

    This site shows for the country & by state. It also shows comparisons with the flu (for what it's worth).


    This is a great site with statistics on each state and county's cases. test positivity rate, ICU beds and case tracking rate ( first time I have seen that )

    Look at difference between CA and NY MA and CT, all states that git hit early. MA and CT doing much better but they have traced 100% of their contacts CA much less.

    What is happening now is ominous. 70% of the deaths in the NE were in Nursing homes because they did not stop people coming in. The NE did mask ups and socially isolate with a strong governmental response eventually slowing infections.

    Look at Texas. This site predicts 50% of the population will be infected and at least 16000 deaths in 30 days. Not clear where they got these numbers but 1% mortality of 50% of population would be 145,000 dead Texans

    The south ( or at least Texas) has ordered NH isolated two months ago, ignoring the "rights" of NH residents, but was unwilling to force other citizens to wear masks etc because they believed it was "unconstitutional" ( I guess they think it is "constitutional" to quarantine old people but not young people).

    While they may still avoid a lot of NH deaths ( not at all clear as a lot of infected young people work there) there will be far far more cases per population in the young. CT peaked at 1000 cases a day ( or 33 per 100,000 population) with aggressive governmental precautions that the population took seriously. Texas is at 7 to 8000 cases a day ( or 26 per 100,000 population) with very little precautions, so the case numbers will clearly go up and up from here. 15% of the cases in the ICU are under 30

    This is an epic game changer for the idea that the Government can do no good. How anyone who cares about their fellow human being can claim Trump has succeeded blows my mind. He and the GOP are responsible for this.
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