Autopsies show: Corona affects the whole body - possible explanation for Long Covid
Created: 2023-01-09 15:38
By: Jannis Gogolin
Former corona infected people sometimes have to struggle with serious, puzzling long-term consequences.
A study should now provide some clarity.
Munich – While some receive nothing more than natural protection against infection after surviving a corona infection, for others the correct course of the disease is just beginning.
Because possible long-term consequences can severely affect those who were previously infected.
And currently the treatment is very difficult, because the causes and modes of action of the so-called long Covid syndrome are still a mystery.
Autopsies show: Corona affects the whole body - possible explanation for Long Covid found
Experts still disagree on what exactly Long Covid means.
It is currently used as a collective term that combines all long-term symptoms of a Covid infection that persist more than four weeks after contracting the virus.
According to the website of the Federal Ministry of Health (BGM), it is not yet possible to say how many people are affected by Long Covid.
According to studies, every eighth infected person is affected.
The syndrome harbors a variety of symptoms.
As the BMG explains, these manifest themselves, among other things, in memory problems or brain fog, fever, coughing, muscle weakness, shortness of breath or depressive moods.
The circumstances under which the virus - originally a respiratory disease - can spread further in the body has so far remained a medical mystery.
Heart, kidneys, eyes, brain: Covid cells identified in 80 other parts of the body
Now a US study published in December in the journal "Nature" is said to have solved at least part of the mystery of Long Covid.
With the help of 44 autopsies, the research team wants to have proven that Covid spreads throughout the body, starting from the respiratory tract.
When taking tissue samples shortly after the death of infected people in the first year of the pandemic, they were able to identify pathogen cells in 84 places in the body.
In addition to the airways and lungs, components of the aggressive virus were found in the heart, kidneys, lymph nodes, intestines, eyes and brain.
In addition, the result of the study indicates that the Covid cells can also cause inflammation and infection outside of the respiratory tract and lungs and can survive in the body for a long time.
A possible explanation for the diversity of the long-term consequences, which are distributed over the entire body and can last for months.
As the study emphasizes, however, specific drugs must be developed.
For example, the long-Covid drug Paxlovid.
Examined patients were part of the risk group - the results can only be transferred to a limited extent
The autopsied patients - on average 62.5 years old, not vaccinated and with various previous illnesses - were in different phases of the disease.
For some, the first symptoms were nine months in the past.
For others only two weeks.
Due to the age, the vaccination status and the already ailing health, the results of the study are difficult to extrapolate to other population groups.
In addition, the researchers could not include virus variants.