Scientists uncover new side effect of Covid-19

More studies are being conducted to learn more about the lasting effects of Covid-19 on people who got the disease.

Scientists uncover new side effect of Covid-19
© Getty/ Jikaboom
Scientists uncover new side effect of Covid-19

If you’ve had Covid, you are being warned of a potentially dangerous side effect. Scientists have found that apart from breathlessness and fatigue, an effect of long Covid could be gut problems. Specifically, the experts fear that the impact of the virus could reduce the number of bacterial species in your gut.

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Gut issues and Covid-19

A team of medics at NYU Langone Health in the US analysed 96 men and women who were hospitalized in New York City with the virus in 2020. Their analysis reveal that around a quarter of patients studied had their guts compromised, meaning they were less resilient than others, making it harder to fight off infections.

Another quarter of the patients had their guts dominated by a single type of bacteria, while several microbes that were resistant to antibiotics were also detected, The Sun reports. According to the researchers, this increase could be attributed to the widespread use of antibiotics during the pandemic. Study co-senior author and microbiologist Ken Cadwell as NYU said:

Our findings suggest that coronavirus infection directly interferes with the healthy balance of microbes in the gut, further endangering patients in the process.
Getty/ Dzmitry Dzemidovich

Impact of study

The study, published in Nature Communications, is the first of its kind to dispute the theory which suggests that infection from Covid-19 alone and not the use of antibiotics to treat the virus, has adverse impact on the gut. Dr Cadwell points to evidence that the same bacteria in the gut are also entering the blood streams of patients - causing dangerous infections. He explains what the findings could mean for the treatment of Covid-19.

Now that we have uncovered the source of this bacterial imbalance, physicians can better identify those coronavirus patients most at risk of a secondary bloodstream infection.

Sources used:

The Sun: Warning to anyone who’s had Covid over nasty side effect Gut microbiome dysbiosis in antibiotic-treated COVID-19 patients is associated with microbial translocation and bacteremia

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