19 – What are the long-term consequences of a corona infection?

Much is now known about the acute symptoms and effects of an infection with the coronavirus. But what are the long-term consequences of the COVID 19 disease once the actual infection is over? The research is still at the very beginning, but there are initial findings. An overview.

Ed and MDR report, for example, on a current study from Italy with 143 middle-aged patients who were in hospital because of a corona infection. More than half of them still complained of shortness of breath and fatigue after their recovery, and chest and joint pain continued to occur.

Researchers warn of long-term effects on organs and the central nervous system

Even at an early stage of the pandemic, scientists observed how the corona virus not only affects the respiratory tract and lungs, but also the central nervous system or attacks the brain. There was evidence of this, among other things, from a case in Japan: The virus could be detected in the nerve water of a corona patient.

There was also one Investigation from Wuhan in Chinawhere the pandemic began. The researchers were already looking at the neurological symptoms of a corona infection in spring, including dizziness, smell and taste disorders. Such symptoms could be detected in a third of the patients examined for this study. Five even had a stroke.

As the ARD magazine “Kontraste” reports, such neurological consequences of an infection with the coronavirus could play a larger and, above all, a longer-term role than previously assumed. Diffuse brain damage occurred in about a third of the corona patients in the intensive care units, which could lead to memory problems as well as attention and concentration difficulties, cites contrasts the General Secretary of the German Society for Neurology, Peter Berlit. Such patients could be confused, have misperceptions and hallucinations, continues Berlit. Damage that could last in the long term.

Kidneys are also affected

Like the researchers from Wuhan, Berlit suspects that the corona virus can infect the brain directly through the nasal cavities. In addition, according to the ARD report, the kidneys are particularly often attacked. This could lead to a kidney infarction and thus irreversible damage to the organs, said the President of the German Society for Nephrology, Jan Galle.

British neurologists from University College London came to a similar conclusion in the journal “Brain” – but their diagnosis is even more drastic. The researchers examined the neurological symptoms of an infection with Sars-Cov-2 in a total of 43 corona patients. The result: Even in infected people with only a mild course of the disease, serious consequences such as brain dysfunction, strokes or severe meningitis could be diagnosed – often only afterwards. The number of neurological abnormalities is higher than expected, writet the research team from London.

The coronavirus can also affect the heart

The heart can also be affected. This was the result of a study by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. To Information from the head of the study, Dirk Westermann there is a possibility that the pathogen could infect heart cells and multiply in them. In addition, the coronavirus is able to change the gene activity of infected heart cells. However, it cannot yet be conclusively clarified whether this will have an impact on the course of the disease in heart patients, the doctor said. However, the altered gene activity could have long-term consequences for the health of those affected.

In order to gain further knowledge, heart examinations are planned on living Covid-19 patients in the future. All in all, researchers agree: The long-term corona consequences urgently need further investigation.

(Stand: 08.08.)

Further articles on the coronavirus

We have a News blog created. In view of the large amount of information, this provides an overview of the most important current developments.

Numbers and dates

+ Current developments: Figures on the coronavirus in Germany (Stand: 17.09.)
+ Classification: What numbers do we mention about the coronavirus and why (Stand: 22.08.)
+ Undiscovered infected people: How high the number of unreported coronavirus infections is (Stand: 02.09.)
+ New development: Why the corona death rate is so low and the number of infections so high (Stand: 04.09.)

Test and protection

+ Treatment: That is how far vaccine research against the coronavirus is (Stand: 15.09.)
+ Infection: What we know so far about reinfections and immunity to the coronavirus (Stand: 25.08.)
+ Face masks: What you should know about protective masks (Stand: 27.08.)

Contagion and Transmission

+ Transmission: What role do aerosol particles play in transmission? (Stand: 12.08.)
+ Prevention: How it is currently about a second wave of the coronavirus (Stand: 27.08.)
+ Herbst: What to do when the corona and the flu wave collide (Stand: 03.09.)
+ Excess mortality: How deadly is the coronavirus? (Stand: 16.08)
+ Shopping cart and co: How long the coronavirus lasts on surfaces (Stand: 08.08.)
+ Symptoms: What are the long-term consequences of a corona infection? (Stand: 08.08.)

Vacation and free time

+ Travel warning: The current list of risk areas (Stand 16.09.)
+ Travel expenses: Full refund even without a travel warning (Stand: 06.09.)
+ Travel planning: What is the situation like in the European holiday countries? (Stand 05.09.)
+ Returners and party goers: Who is currently driving the German infection numbers up (Stand: 27.8.)
+ Travel: The current regulations in Germany (Stand: 16.08.)

You can also find the Dlf news on Twitter at: @DLFNews.

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