Are We Moving Towards A Global Health Crisis After The COVID-19 Pandemic?
A few months ago, a virus turned the world upside down. It seems like forever now, isn’t it?
The COVID-19 curve doesn’t seem to be flattening anytime soon. With each passing day, the number of infected people is rising. The silver lining that we can see is there are multiple countries around the world that are currently in stage 3 of testing the COVID vaccine. Still, it’s a long way to go before the vaccine is available for the general public at large.
While everyone is trying to cure the Coronavirus, there is another health crisis that we staring upon. There have been numerous reports suggesting people who have been cured of the Coronavirus are facing mild to life-threatening symptoms. The cases regarding heart damage, stroke, neurological problems, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic fatigue are on the rise. These have been seen in patients all around the world in hospitals.
India has become the fastest-growing nation for daily new cases. The daily new cases have reached an all-time of high of around 80,000 people per day. However, India has a very high recovery rate with almost 70% of people recovered. The total number of recovered cases in India is also 2.7 million.
India however, is not tracing any post COVID syndrome cases. Countries around the world are tracking these numbers, and the results are alarming. If India doesn’t start tracking these numbers soon, we could be in a difficult situation, given the sheer volume of cases in India.
The American Medical Association conducted a sample study in Frankfurt, Germany. They found that 78% of patients who recovered from COVID-19 developed heart problems. All of these patients were aged between 40 and 50 and had no illness before COVID-19.
The Edinburgh University in UK did a similar experiment across 69 countries. They, too, found people developing heart issues in 55% of patients and 15% of the patients having severe abnormalities. All these people had no abnormalities before COVID-19.
There are many cases around the world where people are being re-hospitalized due to lung disorders. Since COVID-19 affects the lungs directly, the damage that has been caused to these lungs is felt even after being cured.
Life-threatening Health Problems After Recovering from COVID-19
People are facing a number of life-threatening diseases post-COVID recovery. These illnesses can become deadly for people with a medical history or for old people.
Heart Diseases: Almost 80% of people are experiencing heart-related diseases after they have recovered from COVID. These could be for life long and can result in multiple organ failures.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Around 10% of the recovered people have chances of developing this.
Breathing Problems: The Coronavirus affects the lungs of humans directly. The damage to the lungs can be lifelong and cause breathlessness. Some people might require oxygen support for life.
Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children: This illness can be fatal for many children. It results in multiple organs showing inflammatory response.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) — A New Crisis?
Apart from these issues post Covid, recovery can cause mental disorders as well. A report published by America’s National Institute of Health shows people having nervous, immune, and metabolic system abnormalities. They all affect the body together and cause a health issue called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). These can affect any person for the rest of his life. It reduces the person’s body strength.
Many hospitals have reported people being admitted again with cases of fatigue, brain fog, body ache, and weak immune systems. In severe cases of ME, it can cause an entire disablement of the body.
The cases of ME are in the rise as it is caused by viral infections. With COVID-19 spreading to 25 million people worldwide, the symptoms of ME are also on the rise among these patients. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top American infectious disease expert has said to take the virus seriously. He also said it is dangerous among younger people also.
Earlier viruses like SARS, MERS, and Epstein-Barr caused ME in many patients. Currently, with COVID-19 it’s not the case. If this comes true, we might be looking at another world health crisis. There are no tests of ME present right now. There is neither any cure nor any drugs available for this virus. Overall, we do not have much information about this virus, and not many experts also who have knowledge about it.
The US National Medicine estimated 2.5 million people in America suffered from ME in the year 2015. When it comes to COVID-related ME infections, there are no exact figures to trace it. Leonard Jason, a professor at DePaul University in Chicago and researcher of ME, related disease, estimates that around 10% of COVID patients could develop ME.
When you count the absolute numbers for people infected with ME, the numbers are astonishing. At 10%, there can be around 2.5 million new ME cases, and India alone can have 3.5 lakh cases.
The post COVID-19 syndrome affects children as well. Kawasaki-like disease or multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children is a rare but life-threatening disease. This makes the children very ill and can cause severe organ damage.
To Sum Up
These are just symptoms and who knows what may happen in reality. However, the Coronavirus has taught us a lot and we are more prepared than ever to take on any other diseases. Till then, let’s hope we are able to find a cure of the Coronavirus as soon as possible so that we can all go out and lead normal lives.