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Long-term effects

Impact on all body systems

Name one body system and we have scientific evidence that COVID19 has left a mark there.

Why? Organs have doors called ACE2 receptors. The little spikes on the COVID19 virus are keys to these doors. It takes about 10 minutes for COVID19 to open the door and make a cell its home. Once in, the virus starts multiplying eventually killing the cell (and sometimes even killing all the cells in the organ). On top of this, our immune system then “overreacts” to these cells dying causing even more problems.

We have these COVID19 doors on almost all of our organ systems. This leads to short- and long-term health problems (yes, among young and healthy individuals too)…

Lungs (of course): Lose the ability to pass oxygen to the blood and remove carbon dioxide. This leads to distress (and sometimes requires ventilation)

Brain: Loss of smell and taste, headaches, and dizziness. 33% patients experience neurological or psychological “COVID19 fog”. Mental health issues lead to struggling for words, simple math, or just trying to think.

Heart: Chest pain, heart racing, and heart attacks. 20-30% of patients have heart damage. Patients have increased heart failure (yes, even among young people and those with mild symptoms).

Nervous System: Break in communication between the nerves and muscles, causing MS like symptoms (tingling, numbness, weakness)

Kidney: 78% of patients in ICU develop kidney injury

Digestive system (stomach, pancreas, gallbladder): 33% report diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain. 17% have severe pancreatic damage leading to chronic disease

Blood: Extensive clotting in the veins and other small blood vessels of patients’ hearts, kidneys, liver, brain, and lungs

THIS is why we cannot ignore the COVID19 pandemic. We cannot let this disease “run its course” because it impacts all systems in the human body. And shouldn’t be taken lightly. (Can we finally say this isn’t the flu?)

Love, your local epidemiologist

Data Sources:

Heart: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamacardiology/fullarticle/2769182; https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamacardiology/fullarticle/2768916; https://www.heartrhythmjournal.com/article/S1547-5271(20)30625-1/fulltext

Brain: https://academic.oup.com/brain/advance-article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/L20-0845; https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2768351https://els-jbs-prod-cdn.jbs.elsevierhealth.com/pb/assets/raw/Health%20Advance/journals/jmcp/jmcp_ft95_5_18.pdf

Nervous system: https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/L20-0845

Kidney: https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1996

Digestive System: https://www.cghjournal.org/article/S1542-3565(20)30646-7/pdf; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7194639/https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.14.040204v1.abstract

Blood: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30178-4/fulltext

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