Health consequential damages: it goes on and recovering patients after Covid-19

Tens of millions of people worldwide have survived an infection with the Coronavirus already. The number of unreported cases is considered to be high, also beca

Health consequential damages: it goes on and recovering patients after Covid-19

Tens of millions of people worldwide have survived an infection with the Coronavirus already. The number of unreported cases is considered to be high, also because SARS-CoV-2 often causes little or no symptoms.

If the Virus caused disease Covid-19 takes a more severe course, is not to recover the patients, however, often after weeks yet again. Is with life-long consequences for millions of people to expect in the world?

Still, overall, little is known about Late and long - time of a Corona-infection consequences known, says Peter Berlit, Secretary-General of the German society for neurology. First information on the possible neurological consequences had only been in the last few weeks collected. "Which were previously not known, the disease is still young."

With the progression of the pandemic progresses, researchers find out more and more about the disease and consequential damages in Covid-19-patients. Patterns and relationships are identified. An Overview:

patients with a mild course

The world health organization (WHO) estimates the proportion of the mild gradient of around 80 per cent of all cases. In the case of the Infected, the remember some of the Virus include, according to the RKI, especially cough (49 percent), and fever (41 percent) of the most common symptoms similar to a flu-like infection.

"The patients with whom we spoke, reported that the symptoms were sometimes very violent," says Matthias Kochanek, a senior physician at the University hospital of Cologne. They had about stopped about ten to 21 days.

"The duration felt in many patients, longer than known from a normal flu, for example," says intensive care specialist. Yet this value cannot be considered but as a secured.

it is Known that many patients feel after a mild course of the Infection right back in shape quickly. "Most of the patients have reported to us that they were fully robust," says Kochanek. The recovery depends from case to case, and possible comorbidities.

Little doctors know about the taste and Riechveränderungen, the observed gradients, a part of the patients even with mild. "Observational studies show that this problem is in two to three weeks in the majority of patients," says neurologist Berlit. In about five to ten percent of the cases, the fault no longer stay there.

many patients interference reports in parallel to Smell supposedly also changes in the perception of taste, could be involved according to an analysis of the University hospital of Dresden, a interpretation error.

most of The respondents Covid-patients-can therefore be the four flavors: sweet, sour, bitter and salty more reasonably reliably distinguish – but not flavors, for which there is a need for an Interaction with the sense of smell.

patients with severe progression of the disease

About 20 percent of Corona infections are according to the WHO, so severe that the patient must be treated in the hospital. Depending on the progression of the disease, the treatment is different.

Some patients need because of shortness of breath oxygen, but can be on a normal station to be treated. "These patients have approximately a same shape as the patients with the mild course," says intensive care physician Kochanek. "You need sometimes only a little longer in recovery."

Other patients suffer something more severe and need a little more oxygen – for example via a small plastic hose under the nose.

Those Affected are in need of in comparison to a mild course of significantly longer, approximately three to four weeks to be fully fit again, says Kochanek. "After the patients have left the hospital, they told us that they felt a lot of the time, limp and tired and not as powerful."

intensive-care patients with the necessary ventilation

the lung function of Covid-19-patients are so much more restricted that such a supply of oxygen sufficient, in the case of increasing shortness of breath, you will be on the intensive care unit laid and get into a state of artificial coma, on a ventilator via a tube in the trachea Such Intubation is fraught with risks.

the Repeal of the ventilation is a difficult process – the longer you lasted, the more the Breathing muscles needed are in addition to others are reduced. Especially in the case of Older, it is difficult, you back up to the state of the previously build.

the lung is sensitive to Overpressure, and the oxygen added to the ventilation air. Lung tissue can be damaged irreparably. Also in other organs, artificial ventilation may cause damage.

About the hoses may also create in addition to viral disease, a bacterial infection in the lungs. In almost all Covid-19-patients at the Cologne University hospital, such a second or even a third of the bacteria was observed caused inflammation of the lungs, reports Kochanek.

Unclear long-time

On a long time about such a lung to follow the inflammation is still no reliable statements can be made, according to the experts make. For greater gradients, such as with severe respiratory failure and long duration of Ventilation, were to be expected residual symptoms such as reduced lung volumes, says the physician Sven glasses from the Vivantes Klinikum Neukölln.

It was difficult to see a pattern, says Kochanek: seriously ill Covid-19-patients in need of in comparison to patients with other forms of lung inflammation much longer for your recovery.

One of his first patients, 80 years old, recently was released into a rehab clinic. She was about three weeks after the carnival, in the clinic in mid-March.

In some patients, are also severe neurological disease is visible – the so-called encephalopathies, so damage in the brain.

"That expresses itself in restlessness and confusion, the performance of the memory can be affected," says Berlit. Still, it lacks also a long-time knowledge. The fear is that such restrictions could remain over a longer period of time.

another risk is the long-term consequences of strokes, which are observed according to the Berlit, not only in patients who are severely ill Covid-19-patients due to a higher tendency to Thrombosis frequently be.

What are the symptoms, back remained, hanging mainly from the affected area of the Brain.

it also remains Unclear what the consequences of epileptic seizures, which were observed in connection with a cytokine storm, an immune response to the corona of infection, are. If a epilepsy, as a permanent result, may remain after the infection back? "This is conceivable, but we don't know yet," says Berlit.


  • Robert Koch-Institut (2020): "current position/situation report of the RKI to COVID-19", retrieved on 04.06.2020
  • World Health Organization (2020): "Q&A: Influenza and COVID-19 - similarities and differences", archived from the original on 04.06.2020
  • Robert Koch-Institut (2020): "SARS-CoV-2 plug-in a letter to the Coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19)", retrieved on 04.06.2020

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)

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Date Of Update: 05 June 2020, 06:26