More and more is known about the long-term consequences of Corona. The latest findings from Ulm cause great concern. Above all, athletes come into focus.
Ulm – Again and again you read this one word in connection with Corona: recover. But in many cases, anyone who has had an illness is anything but healthy. The long-term consequences of Covid-19 are moving more and more to the fore as they over time Corona pandemic were detected more and more often. The so-called Long Covid Syndrome. A research project at the Ulm University Hospital has been dealing with the long-term consequences of an illness in connection with Sars-Cov-2 since February.
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To this end, the specialists in internal medicine at the Ulm University Hospital offered a consultation hour for those affected in February. According to the supervising senior physician Dominik Buckert, this offer was “hugely accepted”. In the first week there were over 1000 inquiries. Most of the patients come from the region, but inquiries have also come from the north – including Hamburg – and Switzerland.
Terrifying interim result of the Long Covid study: 20 percent of all patients show organ damage
The youngest people are 20 years old who are affected by Long-Covid and want to take part in the consultation hour in the university clinic. Mostly men between 40 and 50 years of age come to the consultation hours. The first interim balance is clear: 20 percent of all patients have organ damage. Most of them feel worse than they did before the disease, but have no damage to their organs, Buckert classified the results. “And actually relatively healthy, so without any chronic previous illnesses,” said the senior physician.
Ulm University Hospital on the long-term consequences of Corona: an above-average number of athletes feel the consequences of Long-Covid
In addition, an above-average number of athletes are there. In particular with athletes, the body feeling is completely different and therefore the perception of losses is also more pronounced in them, Buckert explains. He roughly divides the patients in the study on the long-term effects of Corona into three groups.
One group is above all insecure and fearful of the possible consequences of the disease. Another person moved significantly less during the pandemic and is therefore noticing a drop in performance, says Buckert. “And in a third group we find serious damage to the organs.” In individual cases, of course, these groups are not so easy to separate.
Football professional terminates contract due to the consequences of Long Covid
Even the former Borussia Dortmund professional Marco Stiepermann has prematurely terminated his contract with the Premier League promoted Norwich City due to a long Covid illness. “In the high stress phase during games and training, I kept getting dizzy spells. For half a year I didn’t know what was wrong with me and nobody could help me, ”said Stiepermann in an interview.
“The doctors assume that I suffer from long covid, the long-term consequences of a corona infection,” said the 30-year-old professional footballer. Again and again he suffered from dizziness, severe headaches and exhaustion. He has been treated regularly by a medical professional. That makes him feel better.
The Norwich officials had told him, said Stiepermann, that it was difficult to get playing time because of his complaints. “I didn’t want to sit out the contract, I wanted to get really well again and then attack again,” said Stiepermann, who was promoted to the English Premier League for the second time with Norwich.
Long-Covid brings a variety of complaints as corona long-term consequences
The complaints are manifold with the corona long-term consequences. On the one hand, the patients reported neurological complaints such as finding words, taste disorders or nerve pain and numbness, says the doctor. But also shortness of breath, especially under stress, and physical loss of performance was a long-covid symptom to.
For neurological complaints, Buckert and his colleagues refer to other experts in the house because they focus on lung and heart diseases. But even with a focus solely on this specialist area, Buckert says about Covid-19: “We are still in the process of understanding what we have in front of us.”
“We are still in the process of understanding what we have in front of us.”
In order to get to the bottom of the patient’s complaints, the doctors at the Covid clinic in Ulm examine the patient step by step. What starts with a blood test, an ultrasound of the heart and a lung function test, is continued, for example, with an MRI of the heart and individual follow-up examinations, depending on the findings.
Corona long-term effects: Heart muscle inflammation is a common long-covid symptom
In around 20 percent of patients with organ damage, doctors primarily observe cardiac muscle inflammation and the consequences thereof. These included heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias, says Buckert. “In the lungs, we observe that the structure of the lungs changes and that a poorer gas exchange is possible.” Shortness of breath is the result of the long-term coronavirus consequences. Long-Covid also threatens rehab chaos.
The previous findings of the Ulm research project, with its focus on heart and lung damage, only cover part of the long-term corona consequences and are only the beginning of the more in-depth discussion of this topic of long-term corona consequences, which doctors also call long-covid or post -Covid syndrome.
Ulm study on long-term corona consequences: “Quite representative”
Buckert emphasizes the importance of exchanging information with other clinics on long-term corona consequences. Their feedback coincided with what they had gained so far in terms of Long Covid findings. In addition, the feedback indicated that the first findings of the Ulm doctors are quite representative, says Buckert.
The state government has also recognized the relevance of the topic. She would like to fund research into the long-term effects of corona with around 2.3 million euros. The money is to go to the four university hospitals in Freiburg, Heidelberg, Tübingen and Ulm in order to advance joint research into Long-Covid. Meanwhile, Buckert and his colleagues are working on processing the findings of the Ulm office hours in a study.
List of rubric lists: © dpa / Christoph Schmidt