Coronavirus has lingering effects on some people
NHK -- Jun 12
An NHK survey has found that COVID-19 has lingering effects on some patients after testing negative for the virus and being discharged from hospital.

Hospital doctors treating coronavirus patients say people should know that various problems can persist after patients' discharge from hospital. They also say they hope for a wider network of support to be created for those people.

NHK recently conducted a survey on hospitals designated as infectious disease medical institutions and some university hospitals in Tokyo about conditions of people after COVID-19 treatment. Eighteen out of 46 institutions responded to questions in the survey.

About 1,370 people were discharged or moved to other hospitals from the 18 hospitals by the end of May after symptomatic improvements. There were at least 98 people with problems that made daily life difficult. They accounted for about 7 percent.

Forty-seven people are experiencing respiratory function deterioration due to aftereffects of pneumonia caused by the virus, and six of them need the support of an oxygen inhalator at home.

There were 46 people who had lost muscle strength or had weaker mobility function over many days in hospital, and 27 people who had shown a cognitive decline due to old age.

There were also cases of dysfunctions in the sense of smell and the higher brain.

Many of the people suffering from these aftereffects are those who were treated with ventilator or ECMO machines to support respiratory and cardio functions.

Respondents also wrote comments on other problems regarding COVID-19 treatment and care they provide to people after discharge from hospital.

Several hospitals said they had difficulty finding a hospital for rehabilitation because the patients had coronavirus.

One said a hospital will have to endure heavier burdens when it needs to continue to provide a higher level of nursing care for a person after testing negative for the virus. It says an exit strategy needs to be developed by considering problems of elderly people.

Respondents also pointed out the need to recognize that people have continued to experience various problems after discharge from hospital and that a greater network of support is needed.

News source: NHK
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