THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A series of serious health issues, some of which have proved to be fatal, in people who have recovered from Covid have forced health experts to warn about the need for proper care of the body even after recovery.
The warning is also for people who have taken Covid merely as the flu and have resumed their regular activities even when their bodies send out subtle signs it is not fully ready for such activities.
Last week, the medical fraternity was shocked by the death of a 41-year-old doctor who suddenly collapsed while jogging at Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi. He had Covid with mild symptoms a month back. A fitness enthusiast who preferred using stairs up to the seventh floor of the hospital where he had been working, his sudden death made the doctors caution people about the need to slow down physical exertion after Covid.
Over 64 lakh people contracted Covid and recovered in the state. The number will be several times more considering the fact that a lot of people have not undergone testing. Irrespective of that, the post-Covid situation is a reality everyone faces in varying degrees.
It has been found that younger people in the productive age group have resumed the normal activities faster upon Covid recovery and some of them have restarted intense physical activities. The health experts, however, want them to take a gradual approach and seek medical care if the symptoms worsen.
“Covid is an inflammation that could affect the cells, tissues, and organs of our body. Also, the blood clotting tendency is also high. Even after the recovery, the body will continue to remain in a similar state for some time. When we over-exert, it creates an unfavorable condition for the body,” said Dr P S Shajahan, professor of Pulmonary Medicine at Government TD Medical College, Alappuzha, and president of Academy of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
“The risk is more for people who had severe Covid and those with comorbidities. Those with mild disease are also not immune. They can also get into trouble,” he said.
While the impact of the viral infection in triggering other diseases is well documented, the study on the impact of post-Covid syndrome is still in the nascent stage. But its impact in troubling the heart is getting noticed by clinicians. A study report that appeared in JAMA Cardiology (a peer-reviewed journal) found abnormalities in the hearts of 78% Covid-recovered patients.
“Due to the inflammatory and procoagulant state seen in Covid infection, it is known to affect the heart in the form of heart rhythm abnormalities, heart attacks, and myocarditis. Heavy exercise during the immediate post-Covid period will worsen any underlying cardiac injury. So, always restart your regular exercises after two-four weeks of recovery preferably in a graded manner and consult a doctor if you develop any symptoms like fatigue, chest pain after resuming daily exercises,” said Dr Aneesh C Ratheendran, consultant of interventional cardiology, Renai Medicity Hospital, Kochi.