Yoga & Fitness

Study Finds That COVID Infection Persists In Lungs For Upto 18 Months: Expert Shares Protective Measures

Onlymyhealth Dabur Vedic Tea

Adding to the huge pile of concerning research about COVID-19, another study has found that SARS-CoV-2 can persist in the lungs of an infected person for up to 18 months post-recovery. 

The study published in Nature Immunology found that even six months after infection, the virus replicated in the lungs, even though it wasn’t detectable in standard tests. The study was led by researchers from the Institut Pasteur in Paris and revealed how the Wuhan variant of COVID exhibited reduced immune response, and the virus seemed to exploit specific cells in the lungs for long-term survival.

To understand the results of this study, and find ways to expel COVID virus out of the lungs, the team of OnlyMyHealth spoke to  Dr Dilip Gude, Senior Consultant Physician, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad.

Why Does COVID Virus Persist In Lungs?

Why Does COVID Persist In Lungs For 18 Months Post Recovery

Explaining the findings of the study, Dr Gude said, “Although the virus was undetectable in the upper respiratory tract and blood it is known that a group of cells governing immunity called the natural killer cells may act as reservoirs for the virus.” 

The study suggested that a higher rate of persistent infection may be due to a large amount of virus load. Relaying the same, Dr Gude said, “The swelling and inflammation caused by the virus tend to persist for prolonged periods after the acute episode. Those with high levels of virus are known to have an absence of adaptive natural killer cells and reduced numbers of these cells as well.”

The researchers also found that beyond persisting for long periods, the virus also seemed to be produced in these immune cells in the lungs, suggesting a mechanism for the virus to persist and spread in the body. These changes, along with the detection of viral proteins, suggest that the virus can spread from one cell to another. In some cases, the virus was still produced even when it couldn’t be detected in standard tests, suggesting a hidden, reactivatable infection, stated the study.

Also Read: Binge Drinking, Recreational Drug Use Causing Sudden Death In Young Adults, Not Covid Vaccination: Mandaviya

Expelling Persisting COVID Out Of The Lungs

Why Does COVID Persist In Lungs For 18 Months Post Recovery

The virus’s ability to escape detection by the immune system and its long-term presence in tissues raise concerns. Labelling this as a basis of long COVID, Dr Gude said, “Long covid syndrome is a constellation of symptoms that tend to last for months to even years after an acute covid infection.” 

He listed a set of symptoms that may result from this persistent infection in the lungs:

  • Mild fever
  • Cough
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Muscle pain
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive issues
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Numbness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive dysfunction

Suggesting ways to get rid of this leftover coronavirus, Dr Gude stated, “While there may not be specific mechanisms in eliminating the virus from the body expeditiously one needs to eradicate and treat the acute infection with full vigour.” He listed a few ways: 

  • Medicines like Ritonavir-boosted Nirmatrelvir or Paxlovid, Remdesivir, Favipiravir, and Molnupiravir 
  • A robust immune system
  • Regular consumption of a balanced diet full of antioxidants
  • Daily exercise routine
  • Ingesting multivitamins
  • Quitting nicotine and reducing alcohol use
  • Achieving quality sleep regularly

Concluding their study, the researchers revealed that SARS-CoV-2 can persist in lung immune cells and spread through cell-to-cell communication. The immune response to this persisting COVID virus plays a dual role by inhibiting the virus but also making infected cells more resistant to immune clearance. Understanding these mechanisms could be crucial for developing effective treatments and vaccines.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button