Daily US Times: Doctors said in a review of reports about Covid-19 patients that the coronavirus affects the entire body. It is not only damage the lungs, but the kidneys, skin and gastrointestinal tract, liver, heart, brain and nervous system, doctors said Friday in a review of reports about Covid-19 patients.
On Friday, the team at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City said they went through their own experiences and collected reports from other medical teams around the world.
Their comprehensive findings show that coronavirus affects the entire body and the virus attacks virtually every major system in the human body. The virus directly damaged organs and caused the blood to clot, the kidneys to shed blood, the heart to lose its healthy rhythm and protein and the skin to erupt in rashes.
It causes dizziness, muscle aches, headaches, stomach pain and other symptoms along with classic respiratory symptoms like coughing and fever.
Dr. Aakriti Gupta, a cardiology fellow at Columbia who worked on the review, siad in a statement: “Physicians need to think of COVID-19 as a multisystem disease. “There’s a lot of news about clotting but it’s also important to understand that a substantial proportion of these patients suffer kidney, heart, and brain damage, and physicians need to treat those conditions along with the respiratory disease.”
Much of the damage wrought by the virus appears to come because of its affinity for a receptor — a kind of molecular doorway into cells — called ACE2. Cells lining the blood vessels, the liver ducts, the pancreas, in the kidneys in the intestinal tract and lining the respiratory tract all are covered with ACE2 receptors, which the virus can use to grapple and infect cells, the Columbia University team wrote in their review, published in the journal Nature Medicine.
The team wrote: “These findings suggest that multiple-organ injury may occur at least in part due to direct viral tissue damage.”
When anyone infected by the Coronavirus, it also activates the person’s immune system. Part of that response includes the production of inflammatory proteins called cytokines. This inflammation can damage organs and cells and the so-called cytokine storm is one of the causes of severe symptoms.
Dr. Mahesh Madhavan, another cardiology fellow who worked on the review, said: “This virus is unusual and it’s hard not to take a step back and not be impressed by how many manifestations it has on the human body.”
Blood clotting effects appear to be caused by several different mechanisms: interference with the various clotting mechanisms in the blood itself and direct damage of the cells lining the blood vessels.
The researchers said low blood oxygen caused by pneumonia can make the blood more likely to clot.
These clots can cause heart attacks and strokes or can lodge in the lungs or legs. They clog the kidneys and interfere with dialysis treatments needed for the sickest patients.
Coronavirus can cause damage to the pancreas, which can worsen diabetes, and patients with diabetes have been shown to be at the highest risk of severe illness and death from coronavirus.
Researchers found that the virus can directly damage the brain, but some of the neurological effects likely come from the treatment.
Gupta said: “COVID-19 patients can be intubated for two to three weeks; a quarter require ventilators for 30 or more days.”
“These are very prolonged intubations, and patients need a lot of sedation. ‘ICU delirium’ was a well-known condition before COVID, and the hallucinations may be less an effect of the virus and more an effect of the prolonged sedation.”
The virus affects the immune system of human body, depleting the T-cells the body usually deploys to fight off viral infections.
The Columbia University team wrote that Lymphopenia, a marker of impaired cellular immunity, is a cardinal laboratory finding reported in 67-90% of patients with COVID-19.
The team said doctors need to treat all of these effects when coronavirus patients show up in the hospital.
As researchers found that coronavirus affects the entire body, but there is some good news also. The researchers wrote: “Gastrointestinal symptoms may be associated with a longer duration of illness but have not been associated with increased mortality”.
Many of the skin effects, such as purplish and rashes, swollen “Covid toes,” also clear up on their own.