Coronavirus survivors can suffer lasting damage to their liver and heart and may get PTSD, scientists warn – The Sun

SCIENTISTS have warned coronavirus survivors they may suffer damage to major organs or even develop PTSD.

Those overcoming Covid-19 infections could be struck with further complications, or mental health problems months after leaving hospital, says a report.

An article in Science said that it was "too early" to say what lingering effects discharged patients may suffer further down the track.

But there are "clues" from previous research in to severe pneumonia.

Plus, it's already known that Covid-19 hones in on the lungs – which results in a lack of oxygen.

This in turn can lead to damage to other major organs, including the brain, liver, heart and kidneys, Science pointed out.

There are also fears that there will be a spike in anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder because of psychological stress.

Science said that a study of patients discharged after suffering SARS found that more than one-third reported depression and anxiety 12 months on.

Sachin Yende, an epidemiologist and critical care physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said there was a greater risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

She explained this was particularly the case for pneumonia patients with underlying chronic diseases, when combined with an extended period of inflammation – for example when vulnerable patients have also contracted Covid-19.

Her warning was repeated by Dr Harlan Krumholz, a Yale University cardiologist.

He told the Los Angeles Times: "Covid-19 is not just a respiratory disorder.

"It can affect the heart, the liver, the kidneys, the brain, the endocrine (glands) system and the blood system."

Dr Rahul Kurup, a researcher at the Heart Research Institute in the UK, said: "As Covid-19 affects the lungs, this can have knock-on effects on the heart.

"The lungs and heart are interconnected, with the lungs oxygenating the blood the heart pumps.

"This puts someone with heart disease at more risk, simply because they don’t have as good a reserve to deal with this added complication to their health.

"Patients with heart disease also tend to have other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which puts them at a higher risk of developing a severe illness from the virus.

"A viral infection can also sometimes precipitate a heart attack, and it can be difficult to delineate the symptoms between the two."

In March, Chinese heart specialists advised the American College of Cardiology to watch for clots and said certain blood tests showing a rise in clot risk might signal which patients were in greatest danger.

Other reports suggested the clots can show up all over the body.

US scientists have discovered the deadly bug can cause cardiac injuries – even in people without any underlying heart conditions.

And they warned that Covid-19 can have fatal consequences for people with pre-existing cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension.

Scientists analysed previous coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS that have infected humans, as well as recent studies on the novel coronavirus responsible for the current pandemic.

And they found that coronavirus can have a devastating impact on the heart muscle.

Dr Mohammad Madjid, a lead author on the study and an assistant professor of cardiology at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Centre in Houston, Texas, said: "It is likely that, even in the absence of previous heart disease, the heart muscle can be affected by coronavirus.

"Overall, injury to heart muscle can happen in any patient with or without heart disease, but the risk is higher in those who already have heart disease."

Viral infections have also been known to worsen existing heart conditions such as heart attack or heart failure.

These infections can also lead to cardiac injuries such as pericarditis – inflammation of the lining of the heart – and myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle.

The New York Post reports that researchers fear the new bug which causes Covid-19 may also lie dormant in people's bodies for years – or decades.

With no vaccine or approved treatment for the coronavirus, many overwhelmed doctors are following trails of clues to figure out what to try next.

Experts are trying to establish whether the disease acts in a similar way to the likes of the herpes virus and lies dormant, only to attack your body years after recovery.

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