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Researchers said that infection with B.Covid-19 May cause lung abnormalities that can be detected more than three months after patients are infected.
The study, which included ten patients at the University of Oxford, used a new scanning technology to determine damage that traditional scans had not detected.
The experiment also used a gas known as xenon during MRI scans to monitor images of lung damage.
Lung experts said that a test that could detect long-term damage would make a big difference to Covid-19 patients.
Fergus Gleason, the team leader, surveyed 10 patients between the ages of 19 and 69.
Eight of them reported suffering from constant shortness of breath and constant fatigue even three months after infection with the Corona virus, although none of them had been transferred to the intensive care unit or used the necessary artificial respirators, and the traditional examinations did not detect any problems in the patients’ lungs.
The scans showed signs of lung damage in eight patients who were short of breath, by highlighting areas where air does not easily flow into the blood.
And the results of the examination prompted Gleason to plan a trial involving 100 people to see if the same was true for people who had not been hospitalized and had not experienced such serious symptoms.
Gleeson and his team intend to work with practicing doctors to test people who have tested positive for COVID-19 of different age groups.
Changing the rules of the game
The aim of the study is to find out whether lung damage occurs, and if so, whether it persists or fades over time.
“I was expecting some form of lung damage, but not to the extent that we saw it,” he said.
Gleason adds that the risk of severe disease and death increases significantly among those over the age of sixty, but if experience proves that lung damage occurs in different age groups, and even for those who do not need hospitalization, “this will change the rules of the game.”
It is believed that lung damage detected by xenon tests may be a factor in the persistence of Covid infection for a long time, as people feel unwell for several months after infection.
A research group at the University of Sheffield led by James Wilde developed the scanning technology, and Wilde said it provides a “unique” way to show lung damage caused by Covid-19 infection and its repercussions.
Shelly Hiles, an Oxford medical practitioner involved in helping to set up the trial, believes that about 10 percent of those who contract COVID-19 have some form of lung damage that leads to long-term symptoms.
She said: “We now have more than a million and a quarter of a million people with the disease, 10 percent of them count.”
“When medical staff tell patients that they do not know what the problem is and that they do not know how to identify symptoms, it is very stressful,” she added.
“For most patients, even if the news isn’t good, they want to know the diagnosis,” she said.
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“I’d rather know”
This is Tim Clayden, who spent his 60th birthday at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and had severe symptoms of Covid-19 that he thought he was going to die.
Fortunately, he has recovered, but has been exhausted so far. Tim was frustrated at not knowing the reasons for his failure to recover and restore his full health.
He said he felt anxious and relieved at the same time when he underwent one of the Gleason tests, which showed that his lung was damaged.
He added, “Knowing that there is a problem in your lungs helps.”
He said, “Now I know what it is, I know its cause, but what I do not know, like everyone, is whether this (damage) will last or fade. But I would rather know than not know.”
Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Innovation at the British Asthma Foundation and the British Lung Foundation, said: “It is an important study, and it is important to look at lung damage after Covid on a larger scale so that we can better understand the damage caused in the long term.
She added: “If other studies show lung damage, this may allow the development of a test that can measure lung damage caused by Covid-19, which may make a big difference for many people who suffer from long-term respiratory problems due to Covid. Also developing a specific treatment. ”
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