Since the commencement of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been increasing numbers of reports of some patients suffering from so-called “prolonged COVID”, when patients developed symptoms of their new illness for months even after recovery. recovery after the initial infection.
Now, a new study in which researchers look at the lungs of deceased COVID-19 patients may shed light on why it can take months for some to recover.
According to Reuters, researchers studying the lungs of deceased coronavirus-infected patients have identified “persistent and widespread lung damage”.
More specifically, researchers looked at tissue samples from the lungs, as well as the heart, liver and kidneys of 41 patients who died from COVID-19 at Trieste University Hospital in Italy between February and May. 4 years now.
Mauro Giacca, a professor at King’s College London who co-led the study, said the hearts, liver and kidneys of deceased patients “showed no signs of persistent viral infection or inflammation,” Mauro Giacca, a professor at King’s College London who co-led the study, told Reuters. “. But in the lungs, the researchers found “really great destruction to the architecture of the lungs.” He notes that any healthy lung tissue is “almost completely replaced by scar tissue”.
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As for what the findings mean for people with long COVID, “it is very likely that one of the reasons why there are cases of long COVID is because [a] the vast destruction of [the] lung [tissue], ”He told Reuters. “Even if someone recovers from COVID, the damage caused can be enormous.”
Additionally, Giacca says that many of the cells in dead patients are still infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
“The presence of these infected cells can cause important structural changes in the lungs that can persist for weeks or months and may eventually account for” COVID pull, “he said. long, ”he said.
The study is published in the Lancet eBioMedicine journal.
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This study follows a separate, claimed study identifying risk factors that make patients more likely to have persistent COVID.
For example, researchers found that among long-term COVID patients, symptoms commonly listed as fatigue, headache, shortness of breath and anemia, and more likely In the older population, those with a higher BMI and the patients who were female. Additionally, experiencing more than five symptoms within the first week of diagnosis is also associated with long-term COVID, research shows.
Fox News’s Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.