Long-term sequelae can occur after infection with SARS-CoV-2. A German study focused on patients who had had mild Covid. Enlightening subject at a time when Omicron, variant less aggressive, sweeps all the others.
This is undoubtedly the most comprehensive study on the subject published a week ago by a team of researchers on the health of residents of the city of Hamburg (Germany).
It is for its focus on the specific organ functions of individuals after mild to moderate infection with SARS-CoV-2 compared to controls in the general population that the study is of particular interest.
Thus 443 people, aged 45 to 74 years, were followed ten months after their infection with SARS-CoV-2 with a mild or moderate infection. All subjects for whom infection required hospitalization were excluded from the study.
Sequelae to the lungs, heart, kidneys …
To compare their results, the researchers formed a control group of 1,328 individuals followed for a long time (even before Covid). They then evaluated, for each group, the pulmonary, cardiac, vascular, renal and neurological state.
Thus, they were able to measure the impact of the “light” Covid on the human body and their results are quite edifying, as summarized by Science and Future.
– Lungs: reduction of approximately 3% in lung volume and slight increase in airway resistance.
– Heart: average reduction in the pumping force of 1 to 2% (and therefore a marked increase in the risks); 14% increase in troponin (a protein used to regulate cardiac contraction), and 41% increase in the natriuretic peptide NT-proBNP, the elevation of which may be a sign of heart failure or other pathologies.
– Kidneys: decrease in kidney function by approximately 2%.
– Cardiovascular system: signs of a history of venous thrombosis two to three times more frequent than in the control group.
– Brain: no deterioration was observed in the structure or in the cognitive performance.
– Quality of life (depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms): no significant difference between the group of Covid patients and the control group.
The importance of post-Covid follow-up
In conclusion, the authors mention minor but significant damage. “Subjects have apparently recovered from mild to moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection” but they “have evidence of multi-organ disease related to pulmonary, cardiac, thrombotic and renal function with no evidence of brain damage structural, neurocognitive impairment or quality of life”.
And the authors call on health services to carry out post-Covid follow-up for all over 45s. “Systematic multi-organ function screening, even after mild to moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection, will identify those at risk and initiate appropriate preventive therapies.”
And Omicron in there?
Very enlightening, this study makes it possible to assess the consequences of a Covid, even mild, as the Omicron variant seems to be. Its extraordinary transmissibility should thus be a signal. This Covid will affect many more subjects and will mechanically cause more consequences. To say that a variant is milder would then border on heresy, as Dr. Katherine J. Wu insists. “Covid-19 does not have to be medically serious to wreak havoc.”
There remains a limit to this study: the age of the subjects followed (45 to 74 years). Suffice to say that we still do not know the consequences of a mild or moderate evolution of Covid-19 in children, adolescents and adults under 45 years of age.