Post-COVID syndrome emerging in Kerala?

Antibody tests being conducted for Kochi Corporation workers at the Town Hall in Kochi on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: ThulasiKakkat

Initial symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease happening due to the damaging of tissues that can lead to shortening of breath, have been noticed in a couple of people who recovered from COVID-19 here recently.

This was revealed by M. Shamsudeen, consultant physician attached to a Post-COVID Care Clinic at IQRAA Hospital in Kozhikode. The clinic has been set up jointly by the National Health Mission, Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, and the State government. The out-patient section here is open all days except Sunday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“The symptoms were found in two persons who came here for post-COVID check-up. One was in his 40s and the other in his 50s. Without losing time, they were given treatment. If they were late, it would have been difficult,” Dr. Shamsudeen said. He pointed out that fatigue, headache, body pain, breathlessness, and cough are some of the common after-effects found among those who had approached the clinic after recovering from COVID-19.

According to experts, almost 20% of people who got cured of the infection may develop future health problems. This includes asymptomatic people who were tested positive for the virus. It has been termed ‘post-COVID syndrome’ or ‘long COVID’. Paralysis, cardiac arrest, and epilepsy could be some of the consequences. Doctors at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences had earlier said that a majority of these patients might have conditions caused by other diseases. At least some of them may have to go for lung transplants, they had said.

Developed countries such as the United Kingdom has already begun ‘post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study’. It is a consortium of researches and clinicians from across that country “to understand and improve long-term health outcomes for patients who have been in hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.” In India, Delhi government is reported to have launched similar efforts.

Dr. Shamsudeen, however, noted that not many are aware of the importance of post-COVID care. “Those who have cough or breathing problems need to immediately seek medical treatment. Any negligence can be fatal,” he said. The clinic has three physicians and one pulmonologist.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 9:52:53 AM |

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