Early data from the first 200 people screened found impairments in one or more organs in 70% of the patients. These include organs such as the lungs, heart, liver and pancreas.
Dr Amitava Banerjee, a cardiologist and associate professor of clinical data science at University College London, said,
In a few of these cases, a correlation was found between the symptoms and the site of impairment. For instance, gastrointestinal symptoms with pancreas and breathlessness linked with heart or lung damage.
“It supports the idea that there is an insult at organ level, and potentially multi-organ level, which is detectable, and which could help to explain at least some of the symptoms and the trajectory of the disease,” Banerjee said.
A word of caution here. The study is yet to be peer-reviewed, and none of the patients studied had been scanned for organ damage before they had COVID-19 – so it is possible the damage existed beforehand, even though this is unlikely. The individuals will be continued to be monitored, and a comparison would also be made with those who haven’t had COVID or who have had other viral infections such as the flu.
Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, was quoted in The Guardian report as saying,
FIT had earlier described in an explainer all that ‘long COVID’ entails. Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, a senior consultant of internal medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, had said, “We are discovering that this disease is not just for 2 weeks or 14 days. We see the effects lingering for 4-6 weeks to more in some patients, and the severe cases can go up to 4 months.”