ACHER muscles could be the sign of most serious cases of coronavirus, doctors warn.
American researchers say Covid-19 patients with severe muscle pain will be the hardest hit by the virus – and will generally continue to develop severe respiratory disease.
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Currently, the NHS lists a new continuous cough and high temperature only as the two main signs of the new coronavirus.
Researchers at New York University (NYU) discovered the link between sore muscles and severe cases of Covid-19 by analyzing the records of 53 patients hospitalized in Wenzhou, China.
Most of the participants were in their 30s or 40s, and almost two-thirds were men.
Megan Coffee, infectious disease clinician and lead author of the study, told Business Insider that they conducted the study to “help the doctors in this first step so that they can identify who might get sick from the many cases benign ”.
One of the main signs they discovered in people with severe lung disease was deep muscle pain, known clinically as myalgia.
Myalgia can affect the ligaments, tendons and fascia, the soft tissues that connect muscles, bones and organs.
Myalgia has also been linked to higher general inflammation in the body.
And according to the World Health Organization, about 15% of all coronavirus patients have suffered from aches or joint pain.
Aches are triggered by chemicals called cytokines – which the body releases as a response to infection.
In addition to muscle pain, the researchers found that changes in hepatic alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and hemoglobin levels were also key predictors of whether individuals would continue to develop severe respiratory disease.
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ALT is normally found inside liver cells, however, when your liver is damaged or inflamed, ALT can be released into your bloodstream.
Elevated levels of ALT in a person’s blood can signal the presence of liver damage or inflammation.
And hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen through the blood.
In critically ill patients with coronavirus, the production of red blood cells increases to compensate for chronic oxygen levels in the blood due to poor lung function.
Experts added that determining if a patient is likely to get worse could help hospitals decide which cases to watch for.
“Hospitals are so overwhelmed that if someone doesn’t need oxygen immediately, they may not be able to find room for them,” said Coffee.
“But maybe they could say, ‘You really need to register tomorrow’. “
Doctors could then treat a patient before their case became critical, thereby reducing the burden on the NHS.
Anasse Bari, clinical assistant professor at NYU, co-author of the study, added: “We are in no way trying to override doctors’ decisions.
“We just want to arm doctors with tools to quickly see if this is a serious case and predict the outcome. “
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Researchers have seen patients develop acute necrotizing encephalitis (NEA) – a central nerve infection.
ANE is a rare condition characterized by brain damage (encephalopathy) that usually follows a viral infection.
It has previously been linked to infections such as the flu, chickenpox and enteroviruses – but doctors now believe it may also be associated with the new coronavirus.