NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As some coronavirus patients have discovered, quickly getting back on your feet is not always easy.
In his latest Max Minute report, CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez discusses the recovery process.
As we are learning more about how COVID-19 affects the body, both during an active infection and even long after recovery, it has become apparent that this coronavirus’ impact is much more than a respiratory virus whose primary impact is a deadly pneumonia. We now know it can also affect the heart, liver, kidney and nervous system, including the brain, with sometimes long-lasting effects.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that most people with mild cases of COVID-19 should be okay within two weeks, but now thousands of COVID patients are reporting long-term symptoms including:
- High fevers
- Vision problems
- Burning skin
- Extreme exhaustion
- Loss of hair
- Brain fog
- Shortness of breath
Because we know that COVID-19 triggers inflammation throughout the body causing multiple organ damage, those symptoms are not all that surprising and their persistence, while unusual are known in other infections.
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In other coronavirus studies, a low white blood cell count in COVID-19 patients helped doctors tell which patients were at higher risk of ending up in the Intensive Care Unit. That could identify patients who need closer monitoring and more aggressive therapy.
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And in a European study, researchers report that countries that deployed widespread Tuberculosis vaccinations, called BCG, had significantly lower mortality rates from COVID-19, suggesting that BCG immunity may provide enough cross-immunity against coronavirus to protect against the most severe consequence of COVID-19.
The BCG Tuberculosis vaccine has been safely used for more than 90 years, although it’s most effective in children. As Tuberculosis rates have declined, many countries, including the United States, do not target only high risk individuals for BCG vaccination. That may change with further research.