As the world moves beyond the intense days of the COVID-19 pandemic, research suggests the necessity of long-term medical monitoring for those who suffer infection with COVID-19—whether or not a patient was hospitalized.
The term “novel coronavirus” made little sense to many people as panic and protocols swept the world in 2020. What’s so novel about a virus? While there are contesting theories, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been designated a zoonotic disease.
A zoonotic disease is one which is transmitted between humans and animals. While it sounds exotic, zoonotic disease are well-known. Diseases like rabies, West Nile virus, Lyme disease—and coronaviruses—are just a few of the very troublesome viruses brought to us by the animal world. When diseases, like COVID-19 emerge for the first time, the human body has no specialized defenses—as we have learned in the past few years. The “novel” virus took lives and destroyed health and is still doing so today without as many headlines.
Because of that novelty, the damage caused by COVID-19 can be significant. As the years tick by, research adds to our knowledge about COVID-19 and its real impact. In February, researchers attending the Annual Biophysical Society meeting in California presented evidence concerning the impacts of infection with COVID-19 which can include:
- COVID infection can lead to heart dysregulation, damaging the ability of the heart to regulate its cells.
- Research suggests those who suffer COVID-19 are 55 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or fatal cardiovascular event than those who have not been infected.
- These patients may also suffer inflammation of the heart and abnormal heart rhythms.
Speaking about the research, Columbia University professor Dr. Andrew Marks said, “The more awareness you build around particular aspects of a disease, the more likely you are to improve the care of patients. And doctors should be aware of heart changes related to COVID-19 infections and should be looking for them.”
A recently published study in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine showed that impairment of internal organs persisted in 59 percent of a participant cohort at the one-year mark following their infection with COVID-19. COVID-19 infection can strike major body systems like the lungs, heart, and nervous system, or manifest as fatigue, early dementia, and other chronic ailments.
Time passes and research is slowly clarifying the picture of this new virus. If you, or a loved one, suffer infection from COVID-19, be sure to alert your physician to effectively monitor, understand, and treat your symptoms.
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