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Karnataka government panel to analyse long-term effects of Covid-19
Amid reports of Covid-19 survivors coming down with post-recovery complications, the government said it will assemble a special technical committee of medical experts to examine the long-term effects of the disease.
The announcement was made on Sunday by Minister for Medical Education Dr. K Sudhakar who tweeted, 'We will evaluate those who had mild and severe symptoms special to people with comorbidities.'
A health official who did not want to be named said rural districts have been reporting incidents of Covid-19 survivors reporting issues such as brain fog, fatigue, continued breathlessness and cardiac issues. However, data to determine the ratio of such cases within Covid-19 survivors is still in its infancy.
'The lack of data means the scale of the problem is unknown,' said Dr. C N Manjunath, nodal officer for testing in Karnataka. Dr. Sudhakar told DH that the decision to start the committee was prompted by 'countries across the world beginning to realise the importance of evaluating the long-term effects of the infection.'
He cited the Vaccine Research Group of Mayo Clinic in the United States as having listed organs that may be affected by Covid-19 while raising concerns about the significant cellular damage the virus can cause.
'Doctors in Chennai who have recovered have complained about chronic fatigue,' he said.
'Experts will soon be identified for the committee. They will study the symptoms of patients who have recovered and help the medical community to improve the treatment further,' he added.
Dr. Satynarayan Mysore, in-charge of post-Covid care at Manipal Hospital and a member of the state's Covid-19 Technical Committee, said that for every 100 Covid patients admitted at his centre, 70 return for a follow-up examination.
This inflow has allowed doctors to build up a database on symptoms. 'About 20% to 30% of cases are people with anxiety stemming from the stigma around the disease and fear about their acceptance back into communities. About 3% to 5% are people with blood clots and about 6% are
lung fibrosis cases. Cardiomyopathy comprises less than 2%,' he said.
The clinic has also seen cases with tremors, vitamin D deficiency because of having been indoors and even internal burns to the trachea and esophagus.
'These are due to steam inhalation or the ingestion of boiling water after people try ill-advised self-help measures found on social media which, for example, advocate sipping on hot water to keep Covid at bay,' he said.