Covid-19 appears to attack heart & other parts besides lungs: Washington Post

The young not spared too.

Jane Zhang | Kayla Wong | May 11, 2020, 05:32 PM

Covid-19 appears to attack parts of the human body besides the respiratory system, according to a report from The Washington Post (WaPo).

Covid-19 doesn't just attack the lungs

While the report acknowledges that there is still much that remains unknown, even with more than 14,600 papers on the World Health Organisation's (WHO) database, "clinical experience across Asia, Europe and North America" has shown that Covid-19 does not just attack the lungs.

The report goes on to say that the disease attacks the heart by weakening its muscles and disrupting its critical rhythm.

It also says Covid-19 attacks the kidneys, to the extent that some hospitals in the United States becoming short on dialysis equipment.

This development is unexpected, said David Reich, a cardiac anesthesiologist in New York City, as "no one was expecting a disease that would not fit the pattern of pneumonia and respiratory illness".

Study in China suggests Covid-19 can cause damage to heart

study conducted on patients in Wuhan in January found that of 41 patients hospitalised with Covid-19, five of them, or 12 per cent, showed signs of cardiovascular damage.

Other reports from China published in  February and March also supported the hypothesis that Covid-19 can cause damage to the cardiovascular system, including the heart.

In addition, one of the ways the disease causes damage to the body is the inflammation of endothelial cells lining blood vessels, which may in turn help to explain why the virus harms so many parts of the body.

The virus can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain and the toes.

Covid-19 doesn't seem to spare the young

Also, while it was mostly believed that children are spared from the disease, they have been increasingly affected by the infection, with 73 children falling severely ill in New York City, and three dying due to the virus, as of May 9, WaPo reported.

Reich said the first child who died was due to heart failure, which was caused by other conditions.

While the child first showed gastrointestinal symptoms, these later led to inflammatory complications that caused very low blood pressure and expanded their blood vessels, leading to heart failure.

Research has also indicated that a number of young and middle-aged Covid-19 patients have suffered strokes due to blood clots that were created by the blood problems caused by the Covid-19 infection, according to another WaPo report.

This suggests young Covid-19 patients are not necessarily spared from the devastating effects of the infection.

6 Covid-19 patients in Singapore reportedly died from causes not of complications

Singapore has 20 recorded Covid-19 related deaths so far.

But there are six additional Covid-19 patients who had reportedly died from causes deemed not to be complications from the pathogen.

This might be due to the way WHO and Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) classify Covid-19-related deaths.

WHO provides guidelines on how to record the causal sequence leading to death, as well as any existing health condition the deceased patient has.

For instance, for cases where Covid-19 causes pneumonia and fatal respiratory distress, both pneumonia and respiratory distress should be listed under "cause of death", along with Covid-19.

The deceased patient's existing health conditions, like coronary artery disease, should also be reported on the medical certificate under "Other significant conditions contributing to death".

The classification of the cause of death for Covid-19 cases affects many things, such as the type of insurance that can be claimed by a deceased person's family.

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