Covid-19: From fatigue to heart issues, 5 health complications after infection according to experts | Mint – Mint

  • Health experts share the debilitating effects of Covid-19 virus witnessed after the infection which has the potential to increase the incidents of heart attacks and brain strokes in patients

Some of the most debilitating effects of Covid-19 infection can be experienced by the patients long after the actual infection and according to top health experts, persistent Covid-19 infection for a longer period of time, even though mild, may affect and has the potential to increase the incidents of heart attacks and brain strokes in patients. In addition, following the second wave of the Covid-19 virus, health experts noted that the heart and neurological disorders have seen an uptick as a result of the post-Covid condition. 

  • Heart-related conditions:

Noting that Covid-19 infection can increase the likelihood of health related issues, Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute said, in a report released earlier this month, that a study found an increase of 60% in the incidents of heart-related issues and neurological disorders. Dr Seth told ANI, “There is a large data from the west, which has noticed that over a period of a year and more than a hundreds and thousands of patients study, there was a 60 per cent increase in the incidents of heart attacks or even strokes compared to the normal population at the same period of time. So we are very clear Covid, even though mild, may affect people for a longer duration up to a year and create increased incidents of heart attacks and strokes.”
Dr Nitish Naik, Professor, Department of Cardiology, AIIMS, Delhi said “all flu like illnesses have always been associated with increased risk of cardiac health-related issues. This has been known for many years and Covid is also behaving similarly. Our knowledge about the role of Covid 19 in precipitating acute cardiac problems after recovery is still evolving. He further noted that while there are reports of heart involvement even after even mild Covid infections, “the vast majority will recover without the need for any investigations or interventions,” he said.

  • Fatigue and palpitations:

Dr Nitish Naik explained that it can happen that some persons may experience persistent aches and pains, fatigue and palpitations during the recovery phase like after any viral illness. “However, those with significant breathing problems or pains need to consult a physician for further evaluation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Arun Sharma, a Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre noted that “People are advised mild to moderate exercises only and regular relaxation breathing exercises (Pranayama/meditation). This will reduce their stress levels both at home and workplace.”

  • Persistent exhaustion and headaches:

A study revealed last month that individuals most frequently felt exhaustion and headaches more than four months after getting Covid-19. Unfortunately the subsequent symptoms in the long list of persistent symptoms included muscle aches, coughing, changes in taste and smell, fever, chills, and nasal congestion. The Medical College of Georgia researchers reports their findings in the journal ‘Science Direct’. They wrote stated that “Our results confirm the emerging evidence that there are chronic neuropsychiatric effects following Covid-19 infections.”
Dr Elizabeth Rutkowski, an MCG neurologist and the study’s corresponding author said, “There are many symptoms that we did not know what to make of early in the epidemic. But now it’s evident there is a lengthy Covid condition and that a lot of people are afflicted.”

  • Respiratory tract infections: 

As per the study released last month in August with the Medical College of Georgia researchers reporting their findings in the journal ‘Science Direct’, it said that SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus that has been linked to upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold in humans for many years, is expected to have infected people for the first time in late 2019. 
Notably, since Covid-19 began, experience and research have shown that immediate neurological effects can include loss of taste and smell, brain infections, headaches, and, less frequently, seizures, stroke, and nerve damage or death. The researchers note that there is growing evidence that conditions including loss of taste and smell, as well as cognitive fog, excessive exhaustion, melancholy, anxiety, and sleeplessness, can become chronic. These and other persistent symptoms are now referred to as “long Covid.”

  • Neurological disorders:

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty who is the Chairman of Narayana Health, and also an Executive Director, said that there was an increase in brain and heart-related issues during the second wave. He further noted that more data is required. Dr Shetty said, “Covid patients especially during the second wave, there was definitely a slight increase in the incidence of Covid patients developing clot forms, and clots in the brain or in the heart. But that pattern we saw only during the second wave. But we need to really get the data and then only I can say, whether it is really the case, but we did see a slightly higher incidence of brain stroke and heart problems.”
Dr Manjari Tripathi, Neurology Professor at AIIMS, post-Covid neurological disorders are on the rise because of their effect on the brain, noting that “definitely, post-Covid 19 neurological disorders are on the rise because of effect on the brain, whether it is a decrease in memory or dementia, or strokes, Guillain-Barre (GB) syndrome, which is a neuropathy, severe neuropathy and worsening of seizures and epilepsy. So this is known neurologically. Yes, the heart also gets affected. People are coming with younger heart attacks, younger people are coming with heart attacks, and there is more myocarditis.”
(With inputs from ANI)
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