Doctor says coronavirus ‘will get worse before it gets better’
The long-term health consequences of COVID-19 remain largely unclear. Many people are experiencing unusual and painful symptoms even after infection. Scientists have pinpointed both muscle weakness and fatigue as being the two dominant symptoms troubling survivors of the novel coronavirus.
In a study published in Lancet, most common symptoms experienced after a six-month hospital admission from the COVID-19 infection was investigated.
All patients involved in the study were interviewed with a series of questionnaires for evaluation of symptoms and health-related quality of life, underwent physical examinations and a six-minute walking test, and received blood tests.
In total, 1733 of 2469 discharged patients with COVID-19 were enrolled after 736 were excluded.
Patients had a median age of 47–65 years and 897 (52 percent) were men.
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Fatigue or muscle weakness (63 percent, 1038 of 1655) and sleep difficulties (26 percent, 437 of 1655) were the most common symptoms.
Anxiety or depression was reported among 23 percent (367 of 1617) of patients.
“At six months after acute infection, COVID-19 survivors were mainly troubled with fatigue or muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, and anxiety or depression,” noted the study.
“Patients who were more severely ill during their hospital stay had more severe impaired pulmonary diffusion capacities and abnormal chest imaging manifestations and are the main target population for intervention of long-term recovery.
While bodily aches and pain can be the result of pretty much anything, the study indicates it could be the more common symptom after acute infection of COVID-19.
In a February WHO report, laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 patients found that 14.8 percent of patients reported myalgia or arthralgia.
This puts myalgia and arthralgia a slightly more common symptom than sore throat (13.9 percent), headache (13.6 percent), and chills (11.4 percent).
What is myalgia?
Myalgia describes muscle aches and pain, which can involve ligaments, tendons and fascia, the soft tissues that connect muscles, bones and organs.
John Hopkins Medicine explained: “Injuries, trauma, overuse, tension, certain drugs and illness can all bring about myalgia.
“The symptoms can include muscle cramps and joint pain.
“Diagnosis requires careful clinical evaluations of muscle cramps and joint pain.”
Why muscle pain develops with a COVID-19 infection
“COVID-19 enters the cell by penetrating ACE2 at low cytosolic pH and causes infection in the pulmonary system,” said the National Library of Health.
The health site continued: “The presence of ACE2 has also been demonstrated in the brain, kidney, vascular smooth muscle, and skeletal muscles.
“The virus can spread through the bloodstream or vascular endothelium and cause infection in all tissues containing ACE2 such as the heart and brain.
“Therefore, the musculoskeletal system can also undergo infection.”
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