Pre-existing conditions stalk Covid-19 patients

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 00:00 |
Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi addresses a Covid-19 press briefing. Photo/PD/File

The government yesterday  expressed concern over the high number of Covid-19 patients developing complications such as heart inflammation and kidney conditions. 

Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi said though the disease was associated primarily with the chest and respiratory system, new evidence across the world shows the disease is ‘systemic’.

“About 100 days ago we were told the disease primarily affected the chest or respiratory area of the body, disease is actually a systemic disease which has an effect on heart, kidney and my lead to blood clotting,” she said. 


Mwangangi said the disease though is affecting people with pre-existing health/comorbid conditions, Covid-19 patients who are not hypertensive, diabetic are exhibiting problems of heart inflammation and  blood clotting.

Researchers report Covid-19 can cause a range of severe neurological symptoms, which may be the main presentation of Covid-19 in some patients.

 Across the world, scientists report that the neurological complications of Covid-19 can include delirium, brain inflammation, stroke and nerve damage.

They highlight a concerning rise in the number of adult cases of potentially fatal acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) could be a result of the pandemic. 

In a paper published in Brain, a scientific journal of Neurology, the team reported that some patients did not experience severe respiratory symptoms, instead neurological disorders were the first and main presentation of Covid-19.

 Joint senior author of the study, Dr Michael Zandi, University College London (UCL) Queen Square Institute of Neurology and University College London Hospitals (UCLH) National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust, said: “We identified a higher than expected number of people with neurological conditions such as brain inflammation, which did not always correlate with the severity of respiratory symptoms.

Stroke and psychosis

 Another study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry shows conditions including stroke and psychosis, have been linked to Covid-19 raising concerns about the potentially extensive impact of the disease in some patients.           

Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours 497 people tested positive for the virus out of 4,992 samples tested.

The cumulative number of tests conducted so far is now 221,234 and the total caseload in the country stands at 10,791.

Mwangangi said a total of 3017 have recovered with cumulative 202 deaths.

 “Coronavirus disease is now fully domiciled in our communities as evidenced by the surging numbers. These figures will keep rising, something that should worry each and every one of us,” she said.

 On the status of patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Acting Director of Health said there are 36 people in critical condition.

 “Cumulatively a total of 199 people have been admitted in the ICU with 90 discharges, 73 deaths.

As of today there are 36 people in ICU; 18 in mechanical ventilatory support and 18 on oxygen,” he said.

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