Indian doctors note a serious complication associated with Covid-19 is a cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection that causes inflammation and fluid accumulation in the lungs.
CMV often occurs in transplant patients or people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or AIDS. 7 cases of CMV have been detected in Mumbai. These patients are between the ages of 30 and 70 and have had Covid-19. They had to return to the hospital with symptoms of CMV pneumonia, which causes inflammation and fluid buildup in the lungs.
In New Delhi, 5 CMV cases all had severe gastrointestinal bleeding or intestinal obstruction.
“Three of them lost a lot of blood, one needed to have the right part of the colon removed to survive. One did not survive,” a representative of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which received the above five patients, said. know.
Doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital suspect that the steroids used to treat Covid-19 are the cause of CMV in most cases, as the drugs weaken the immune system.
Steroids, along with steroid-induced diabetes, are also the causes of black fungus in Covid-19 patients in India, according to doctors.
Dr Vasant Nagvekar, an infectious disease specialist based in Mumbai, said that Indian hospitals should monitor all types of infections in patients who have recovered from Covid-19. “It’s not just steroids or diabetes, Covid-19 seems to have the potential to be severely immunosuppressive, facilitating other infections,” he said.
Dr Able Lawrence, professor of immunology at the Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow, is not surprised that patients in Mumbai and Delhi contracted CMV pneumonia, after recovering from Covid-19.
According to him, the bottom line is weakened immunity. He has seen CMV disease in people with autoimmune diseases like lupus, or people with rheumatism taking immunosuppressive drugs like rituximab.
“CMV can cause patients to transition to severe Covid-19 and Covid-19 can reactivate CMV. It is a two-way relationship. However, CMV pneumonia can respond significantly to treatment,” said Mr. Lawrence.
The new complication emerged while India was still battling black fungus. The country recorded nearly 41,000 cases of black fungus infection during the second wave of Covid-19 in April and May. Black fungus thrives in part due to the overuse of Covid-19 steroid drugs such as Covid-19 such as dexamethasone.
However, some doctors believe that CMV is not necessarily related to Covid-19. Dr Neeraj Nischal at the Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, commented: “One should not attribute everything to a post-Covid-19 complication. Millions of people contract the virus and subsequently suffer other illnesses unrelated to Covid-19. -19”.
Mai Dung (According to the SCMP)