Monday, November 29

Coronavirus: scientists identify a new sequel in patients who had it

One of the great challenges that the coronavirus has posed in this little more than a year and a half that we have been in a pandemic is that despite the fact that there are some established symptoms and side effects, the truth is that each patient will react differently to the disease, during and after it after having contracted it.

What has been observed is that the vast majority of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 make a 100% recovery After having gone through the disease, the truth is that there are some people who carry some discomforts or health problems derived from or related to the virus for a short or long time.

Also, there are patients who, unfortunately, carry discomforts derived from COVID for a long time, which health experts have called “Post COVID-19 Syndrome” or “Prolonged COVID-19”, which can also be developed by people who were asymptomatic.

Regarding this topic, a study carried out by researchers from the United Kingdom, Turkey and Qatar and published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, found a new Post COVID-19 symptom that is related to the eyes.

It turns out that There are patients who suffer from the loss of nerve fibers, as well as the increase in immune cells called dendritic cells, just on the surface of the eyes.

The researchers found that These modifications in the cornea of ​​the eye tended to occur in those who also had some neurological symptoms, in particular loss of taste and smell, headache, dizziness, numbness, as well as neuropathic pain, caused by the coronavirus.

It should be noted that the cornea is the transparent part of the eye that covers the pupil, the iris and the interior filled with fluid. Its main function is to focus most of the light that enters the eye.

The study analyzed 40 people who suffered from COVID-19 and recovered in a period of 1 to 6 months prior to the investigation, in which a technology called confocal microscopy of the cornea was used, which is used to detect damage on the nerves of the cornea and is based on a non-invasive, high-resolution laser imaging technique that provides results in real time.

The neurological symptoms mentioned above were present between 4 and 12 weeks in 22 of 40 (55%) and 13 of 29 (45%) patients, respectively. The participants’ corneas were then scanned using microscopy to look for damage to small nerve fibers and the density of dendritic cells. These cells play a critical role in the primary response of the immune system by capturing and presenting antigens from invading organisms.

The corneal scans were compared to 30 healthy people who had not been infected with COVID-19. The results were as follows: 22 (55%) of the 40 COVID patients had no clinical signs of pneumonia; 11 (28%) had clinical signs of pneumonia that did not require oxygen therapy; four (10%) had been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and received oxygen therapy; and three (8%) with pneumonia had been admitted to intensive care.

Corneal scans revealed that patients with neurological symptoms 4 weeks after recovering from acute COVID-19 infection had greater damage and loss of nerve fibers in the cornea, with a higher number of dendritic cells, than those who they had not had the COVID-19 infection.

Those without neurological symptoms had a number of corneal nerve fibers comparable to those who had not been infected by COVID-19, but a greater number of dendritic cells. Responses to the questionnaire indicative of prolonged COVID symptoms were strongly correlated with loss of nerve fibers from the eye.

“As far as we know, it is the first study to report loss of nerves in the cornea and an increase in density. [de células dendríticas] in patients who have recovered from COVID-19, especially in subjects with persistent symptoms compatible with prolonged COVID, ”the study describes.

“We show that patients with long COVID have evidence of damage to small nerve fibers that is related to the severity of long COVID and neuropathic and musculoskeletal symptoms,” the text adds.

Also, it explains that at the moment, it is not possible to know exactly what exactly.

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