Hundreds of millions of people worldwide have contracted Wuhan pneumonia (novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19), and even though many people recover from the disease, some suffer from “Long COVID” sequelae such as organ failure, fatigue, rapid breathing and hair loss. New research in Germany has found that blood cell changes caused by the new coronavirus may be the key to long-term symptoms.
According to the Daily Mail, in a study published in June in the Biophysical Journal, scientists at the Max Planck Center for Physics and Medicine in Germany conducted a small study of 55 people and found that the new coronavirus alter the size and stiffness of red and white blood cells, making it more difficult for them to obtain oxygen and nutrients around the body, and because the flow of oxygen is blocked, there are long-term consequences such as breathing problems, fatigue and headaches.
And because of the physical changes produced by the virus in the blood cells, it may also explain why patients with severe disease experience blood clots and organ decline.
In addition, data from the Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom show that people with symptoms lasting more than four weeks are suffering from new coronary long-term symptoms, and there are nearly one million people in the country with symptoms as of May.
It is understood that the new coronary long-term symptoms include organ failure, fatigue, rapid breathing, hair loss, etc., of which fatigue is the most common, about 535,000 people affected, followed by shortness of breath, 397,000 people and muscle pain 309,000 people. About two-thirds of the patients with chronic symptoms reported that the symptoms caused difficulties and limitations in their daily life.