Visakhapatnam: Quoting an ICMR study, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya has recently cautioned people who battled with severe Covid-19 disease to desist from strenuous exercises and intensive labour. This has once again put the spotlight on the long-term effectsof the pandemic disease. There have been instances of patients, who recovered from the severe form of the infection, experiencing a constellation of symptoms, ranging from brain-fogging, malaise, difficulty breathing and anxiety to sudden cardiac arrest, pulmonary fibrosis, and avascular necrosis.
Even though the doctors could not establish direct correlation between Covid-19 and progression of these medical issues, they advise the patients to be watchful of post-Covid complications. There were instances in the past one year of several youth dying of cardiac complications in Andhra Pradesh. Some experts suspect the role of the pandemic virus.
According to experts, SARS-CoV-2 – the virus responsible for the Covid-19 disease – can enter a variety of human cells by binding it spike protein, including the endothelial cells in coronary vessels, cardiomyocytes (cells responsible for the contraction of the heart), and alveolar cells. This could partly explain the pathophysiology behind the Covid-19 induced myocarditis in some patients. Speaking to ToI, Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences director Dr K Rambabu said that initially there were advisories, asking the patients not to take intensive exercises immediately after recovery. “But in the wake of recent cases, it is better for the people who battled with the disease in the ICUs and/or on ventilators and high doses of steroids to stay away from intensive exercises and strenuous labour work for some more time. They can however continue with mild exercises like walking, yoga, and meditation,” said Dr Rambabu, who is serving as the Andhra Pradesh state Covid-19 nodal officer.
The VIMS director added that the disease is known to elevate D-dimer levels and cause coagulation (clotting) abnormalities in some patients. “Bilateral avascular necrosis was also reported in some. Myocarditis and pulmonary fibrosis conditions have surfaced in some patients who recovered from severe Covid-19. Thrombosis dislodgment in a few cases may cause different complications. It does not happen to every severe Covid-19 case. But it is better to be watchful of the symptoms,” said Dr Rambabu.
Assistant professor in the department of cardiology, Andhra Medical College/King George Hospital, Dr KP Hema Malini suggested people recovered from severe Covid-19 to undergo regular health checkups. “They should not ignore any symptoms like chest pain and mistake it for gastric issue,” said Dr Hema Malini.

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