New study explains 'long COVID', or persistence of coronavirus symptoms

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Nov 05, 2020, 03:18 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Europe Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The COVID-19 pandemic is raging across the world, and a new study sheds light on why someone experiences “long COVID”, whereby people continue to experience symptoms for a long period, more than the average period of 14-15 days.

Long COVID, explained

The COVID-19 pandemic is raging across the world, and a new study sheds light on why someone experiences “long COVID”, whereby people continue to experience symptoms for a long period, more than the average period of 14-15 days.

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After observing the lungs of people who had succumbed to COVID-19, doctors found persistent and long-lasting damage to their lungs, which could explain “long COVID”.

It’s important to note here that doctors and scientists are still learning news things about coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Unique characteristics

Doctors found COVID-19 has unique characteristics, which could explain why it inflicts so much harm in extreme cases.

“The findings indicate that COVID-19 is not simply a disease caused by the death of virus-infected cells, but is likely the consequence of these abnormal cells persisting for long periods inside the lungs,” Mauro Giacca, a professor at Kings College London, one of the scientists heading the study said, as quoted by The Hindu.

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To ascertain the intensity of the damage done by COVID-19, doctors took tissue samples from heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys from 41 patients who had died between February and April 2020 in Italy’s University Hospital of Trieste.

“It could very well be envisaged that one of the reasons why there are cases of long COVID is because there is vast destruction of lung (tissue),” Giacca told Reuters. 

“Even if someone recovers from COVID, the damage that is done could be massive”, the scientist added.

Lingering symptoms of COVID-19

According to many studies emerging from different parts of the world, coronavirus can continue to cause symptoms in patients even after recovering. These include shortness of breath, fatigue, and fugue, or in simpler words - “long COVID”.

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Additionally, among the 41 deceased patients, characteristics that are unique to COVID-19 were found by doctors, as opposed to the regular symptoms shown by pneumonia.

The research published in the Lancet journal “Lancet eBioMedicine”.

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