Complications of Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)

COVID-19 is a major health problem to the whole world due to its rapid mode of transmission and complications they bring up especially in immunocompromised patient. This disease has affected millions of people all over the world and claimed over 200 thousands lives. People with mild symptoms can recover from the disease even without medication or going to the clinic. However there are certain conditions that can increase your risk of having severe symptoms when you fall sick from COVID-19. Currently there is no specific drug for COVID-19 and it is advisable that people should maintain physical distance (at least 6 metres), practice regular hand washing with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, disinfect frequently touched surface and also wear face masks to prevent being infected with the virus.

In today’s article we will be talking about the different complications that is brought up by covid-19 infections.

What can I do when I’m sick?

It is advisable that you should stay home when you are sick and avoid public gatherings. CDC advises that sick people should stay at home except during urgent cases.
If you are sick and you are suspecting COVID-19, take the following steps:

  • Stay at home and avoid public gatherings such as public transport, market and grocery stores.
  • Get enough rest, eat foods that will boost your immune system and also use painkillers like acetaminophen to help relieve your symptoms.
  • Contact your healthcare provider and monitor your symptoms
  • Self isolate yourself and avoid coming in contact with people
  • Avoid sharing your personal belongings and other items with people
  • Wear a facemask, perform regular hand hygiene, disinfect frequently touched surfaces and be hygienic while coughing and sneezing.

When should I seek immediate medical care?

You should contact your doctor before going to the clinic for urgent medical care if you experience the following symptoms according to the Centre for disease control (CDC):

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Persistent chest pain
  • New confusion
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Bluish lips of face

What should I do after COVID-19 test?

If you test negative to COVID-19, it is important that you take every precautionary measures to prevent being infected in the future. The fact that the result was negative doesn’t mean that you are automatically immune to the virus or you won’t be exposed to it again. The result of the COVID-19 test may be negative if you get tested before the incubation period of the virus (usually 2 to 14 days after infection).
If the result comes out positive, you do not need to panic as COVID-19 is not a death sentence and some people can recover from the illness even without medical care. If you are positive, take your medications as prescribed by your health care provider and follow-up other precautionary measures to protect your family and others from the infection.

What should I do while visiting the clinic?

It is crucial that you contact your healthcare provider over the phone before visiting the clinic.
When visiting the clinic for emergency care you should:

  • Wear a facemask
  • Maintain physical distance of at least 6 metres away from others
  • Do not spit on the floor or litter the ground with tissue paper used in covering your mouth and nose to avoid contaminations.
  • When you are admitted and isolated in a room, you may not need to wear a face mask but you should always cover your nose or mouth with tissue paper when coughing or sneezing and dispose them properly.

What are the complications of COVID-19?

Complications of COVID-19 are severe and worsening symptoms that result from coronavirus infections. The symptoms usually demand that you are moved to an intensive care unit (ICU) or placed on a ventilator in other to stay alive or recover from the illness.
The following are the possible severe illnesses you may experience from COVID-19 infection:

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation in the air sac of one or both of the lungs. This infection causes the air sac of the lungs to be filled with fluid or pus thereby resulting in fever, fatigue, chills, chest pain and difficulty in breathing.
A study of the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 patients with novel coronavirus (2019 nCoV) admitted in jinyintan hospital in Wuhan, China revealed that 75% of the patients had bilateral pneumonia and 11% of them died when they develop severe symptoms that led to multiple organ failure. The average age of the patient admitted was 55.5 years including 67 men and 32 men and 51% of this patient has chronic diseases. Pneumonia blocked the air passage in most of these patient thereby causing extreme difficulty in breathing that caused death due to multiple organ failure.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurs when fluid is accumulated in the air sack of your lungs. This fluid increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and reduces oxygen level in the bloodstream. This condition can lead to organ failure when they are deprived of the oxygen they need to function.
The results of a study of 201 patients with an average age of 51 with COVID-19 pneumonia in Wuhan, China revealed that, of the 201 patients admitted, 84 patients develop acute respiratory distress syndrome and of this 84 patients, 44 died from the condition. This study further showed that older age was associated with increased risk of ARDS and death in covid-19 patient due to deficient immune system.

Sepsis/Septic shock

Sepsis is a life-threatening health condition. It occurs when the immune system releases chemicals that triggers inflammatory reaction into the bloodstream. They are usually caused by microbial infections from bacteria, fungi and viruses. Septic shock occurs when there is an unhealthy drop in the blood pressure and this can lead the organ failure and death. Research have well established that sepsis is well associated with COVID-19 and it is one of the leading cause of death among COVID-19 patients.

Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS)

This is an health condition that affects the blood vessels and other organs such as kidney, skin , heart and eyes in children and teens. This condition is similar to Kawasaki disease which causes toxic shock syndrome and inflammation in the blood vessels of children. The symptoms include diarrhoea, body ache, skin rash, vomiting, fatigue abdominal cramp and bloodshot eyes.
Make sure you contact your health care provider if your child exhibit any of these symptoms or that of coronavirus. The Center for disease control (CDC)are still investigating this health condition in other to provide useful information to public health organisations.

Heart attack

Heart attack happens when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked. The accumulation of fats, cholesterol, proteins and other substance can form plaque in the arteries that supplies blood to the heart. Scientific research have revealed the connection of heart disease to increased mortality rate in COVID-19 patient.

Other possible complications of COVID-19 include liver damage, kidney injury, arrhythmia and acute autoimmune hemolytic anaemia.
Important notice
Complications arises from severe symptoms of covid-19, therefore it is important to practice all precautionary measures to prevent this infection as there is no specific drug to effectively eliminates covid-19 presently.

About Adebayo Taiwo

Adebayo Taiwo hails from Africa. He's a Microbiologist , Health Safety and Environment Specialist and a Health Advisor who is concerned about the well-being and healthy lifestyle of people around the globe. The health of my people is my pride.

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