Long-term Care for Patients Recovered COVID-19

June 27th, 2020 healthwiki Health Resources 0

The COVID-19 is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2). As per the COVID-19 dashboard by the Centre for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, as of 20 June 2020, above 8,685,046 cases have been reported in 188 countries and territories, resulting in more than 460,506 deaths; more than 4,270,000 people have recovered.

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel infectious agent and recovery from it has a steep learning curve since patients who have survived the COVID-19 infection continue to experience feelings of fatigue, shortness of breath and reduced exercise tolerance.

Small-scale studies conducted in Hong Kong and Wuhan, China, show that survivors face poorer functioning in their lungs, heart and liver.

The hospital authority of Hong Kong has been observing a group of COVID-19 patients for up to two months since they were released. They found about 50% of the 20 survivors had lung function below the normal range. Moreover, a study of blood samples from 25 patients, who recovered from COVID-19 in Wuhan, found that they had not fully recovered normal functioning regardless of the severity of their coronavirus symptoms.

According to the doctors at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, chronic cardiac complications could arise in patients even after recovery as a result of persistent inflammation.

Since there is not sufficient data regarding the after-effects of novel coronavirus infection, for clues on how COVID-19 may leave its mark, doctors and researchers are looking to the experience of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which is part of the same family as the new coronavirus. Some survivors of the SARS suffered long-term effects years after they first got the disease.

Researchers in China analysed 25 SARS patients 12 years after they contracted the virus, contrasting their results with a control group not infected with SARS. They found that more than 50% of the recovered patients suffered another lung infection since their session with SARS and also had higher cholesterol levels. Also, half the patients had at least five colds in the previous year — a characteristic no one in the control group shared.

These data proved that the recovered SARS patients had a poor quality of life 12 years after recovery, and were susceptible to inflammation, tumours, glucose and lipid metabolic disorders as researchers wrote. A similar scenario might be seen in the case of COVID-19 recovered patients if precautionary measures are not taken.

Many experts suggest that breathing exercises can probably be advised to COVID-19 recovered patients in the hope of producing a short term benefit in the improvement of their breathing. As for nutritional support, consumption of fruits and vegetables every day should be advised, along with increased intake of high-quality protein to provide resources for the repair of muscles which will have been challenged considerably during the COVID-19 symptoms.

To improve the patient’s respiratory function, termination of smoking should be encouraged.

To improve mental health conditions, COVID-19 recovered patients should be advised to actively engage with mental health services, whether directly or via home-based approaches.

Additionally, a person just recovered should continue with the hygiene practices undertaken while s/he was in quarantine. Distance must be maintained from people around and immediate mingling is not advisable.

The writer works at Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Limited.

Md Ekhtear Mahmud

E-mail: ekhtearuap@gmail.com

Coronavirus Infection in Children

June 8th, 2020 healthwiki Child Health 0

The coronavirus outbreak has become a global problem, creating panic and concern all over the world. The pandemic has restricted movement, paralysed business and affected the economy in many countries including Bangladesh. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it as a pandemic and global emergency.

Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to severe respiratory distress. The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a very contagious disease and has claimed the lives of about half a million people worldwide.  COVID-19 started its journey from Wuhan, China and now has spread over 195 countries of the world. Bangladesh has recorded more than 60,000 confirmed cases and around 900 deaths so far.

The novel coronavirus can affect anybody, from neonates to adults. Fortunately, children are being less affected by it and their signs and symptoms are not exaggerated. Why are the children less affected is not so clearly known. The reasons might be that they might be exposed less, their receptor for viruses are less or they might have better immunity than adults and develop better antibodies.

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at high risk for COVID-19. Elderly people with comorbidity is more at risk. China conducted a research on 2,143 paediatric patients, among which two-third were suspected cases and the rest were laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases. About 4% of them were asymptomatic, 51% had mild illness and 39% had moderate illness. Boys and girls were equally affected. About 6% had severe illness compared to 18.5% of adults. They also found infants develop more critical manifestation then older children.

As it is a new virus we must wait for more information and explanation regarding children’s infection. Whatever may be the seriousness we have to prevent it and the steps of prevention are the same for everyone.

Frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap, using alcohol based sanitisers, maintaining social distancing, staying at home and avoiding touching the nose, mouth and eyes with unclean hands are imperative.

Having lukewarm water often and increased intake of vitamin C is also important. The use of proper masks while going out and proper disposal of used tissue papers after coughing or sneezing are important. It is better to avoid the consumption of raw or uncooked food.

By any means we must prevent/lower the community transmission and the best way to do that is to keep yourself at home. Do not come out of your home until it is very much essential. Social, religious or political gatherings must be halted and avoided. Public transportation should also be avoided.

It is important to not panic. Be cautious, be safe and make others safe by staying at home.

Author: Prof M Karim Khan

The author is a Professor of Paediatrics at Community Based Medical College, Mymensingh.
E-mail mmukkhan@gmail.com

Article By TheDailyStar.net