With the coronavirus still being novel, having a lifespan of about half of a year worldwide, there remains potential longterm effects from those who had contracted the virus and survived.
"This generation's polio," according to Dr. Nicholas Hart, who treated Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
"#COVID19 is this generation's polio. Patients have mild, moderate and severe illness Large numbers of patients will have physical, cognitive and psychological disability post critical illness that will require longterm management We must plan ahead #recovery #rehabiliation"
"This is so new that I don't think anyone is able to tell what is the percentage of patients who will recover, what is the percentage of patients who will not recover and have long-term sequela," the Cleveland Clinic's Michelle Biehl told Bloomberg.
Past world epidemics have shown effects can last more than a decade, and one study of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) survivors has shown higher cholesterol levels and more suspecibility to illness for as much as 12 years later, according to a Bloomberg report.
"These data demonstrated that the recovered SARS patients had a poor quality of life 12 years following recovery, and were susceptible to inflammation, tumors, and glucose and lipid metabolic disorders," according to Wuhan, China, researchers in 2017 paper published online in Scientific Reports, according to Bloomberg
And this particular coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, has shown to attack more than just the lungs in dramatic fashion, from the heart and liver, eyes to toes, the gut, and the kidneys. Some COVID-19 survivors continue to report breathlessness, fatigue, and body pain after recovering and testing negative, per the report.
"What these chronic issues ultimately look like – and how many patients ultimately experience them – will have huge implications for patients, the doctors who treat them, and the health systems around them," University of North Carolina epidemiologist Kimberly Powers told Bloomberg.
Hong Kong is monitoring COVID-19 patients for up to two months after being released from the hospital, finding half of the 20 survivors had lung function below the normal range, according to Owen Tsang of Princess Margaret Hospital, Bloomberg reported.
And a study of 25 survivors in Wuhan, found still less than normal functioning no matter the severity of their cases, according to a paper published April 7, Bloomberg reported.
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