Experts have warned that COVID infection that lasts for a prolonged duration, even if it is minor, may have dire consequences for patients and may increase the risk of heart attacks, brain strokes and even dementia,
This comes as growing cases of long Covid are being reported globally. According to a recent study, occurrences of neurological diseases and heart-related problems have increased by 60 per cent in patients with Covid.
Patients with this particular type of Covid infection continue to have symptoms for an extended period of time—more than the typical 14–15 days.
Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, told ANI that there is a significant amount of data from the west that shows that heart attacks and strokes increased by 60 per cent over the course of a year in hundreds of thousands of patients studied.
“So we are very clear COVID, even though mild, may affect people for a longer duration up to a year and create increased incidents of heart attacks and strokes.”
According to Dr Padma Srivastava, professor and senior neurologist at AIIMS in Delhi, COVID has developed over time to affect the brain and the nervous system in addition to the lungs.
“We also now know that there is a definitive entity called long Covid which means there are features which are coming up, persisting after Covid infection in three months. There is extensive research which is going on, all over the world,” she said talking to ANI.
As per Dr Srivastava when it comes to Covid, there are several factors at play, including infection, inflammation, involvement of the brain, nervous system, muscles, and peripheral central nervous system.
She warned that when it comes to the brain, Covid can give way to “immediate acute situations” like a brain attack or a stroke and inflammation.
Another risk is that these people could develop dementia or Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms, however, research is still being done to see if that’s likely.