Not only respiratory disease: COVID-19 hits the whole body

Not only respiratory disease: COVID-19 hits the whole body

COVID-19 is a mysterious virus / Image=Wikipedia

[Newsphopick=Gyubin Lee] The patient had been relatively fine for the first 10 days he was down with Covid-19. Just 38, he didn't fit the description of people at high risk of complications from the new coronavirus. "He had mild pulmonary symptoms that he was just sitting at home with," said Dr. Sean Wengerter, a vascular surgeon in Pomona, New York.

"He had been diagnosed at an urgent care clinic and it was going fine at home. He just had a little cough." Until one of Covid-19's surprising effects kicked in. 

"Then he just woke up with both his legs numb and cold and so weak he couldn't walk," said Wengerter, who is division chief of vascular surgery at Westchester Medical Center Health's Good Samaritan Hospital. 

COVID-19 can cause blood clots 

This relatively young man had an aortic occlusion -- a big blood clot in the body's main artery, right above where it splits into two parts to run into each leg. Blood was not getting into the iliac arteries and his legs were being starved. It's an extremely dangerous development that can kill between 20% and 50% of patients, Wengerter said. 

"It just doesn't usually happen in a 38-year-old," he told CNN. Quick diagnosis and a surgical procedure to slice open the arteries and scoop out the clot using a catheter saved the patient. 

"We had two surgeons working simultaneously on him," Wengerter said. Doctors treating coronavirus patients are seeing a range of odd and frightening syndromes, including blood clots of all sizes throughout the body, kidney failure, heart inflammation, and immune complications. 

"One thing that is both curious and evolving and frustrating is that this disease is manifesting itself in so many different ways," said Dr. Scott Brakenridge, an assistant professor on the acute care surgery team at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

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