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Beyond immediate death count: Long Covid and blood clots: Covid-19 as a blood clot disease

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 ) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

It is a respiratory virus.

Myth: This disease only affects the lungs. Only about 0.5% of infected people get sick and die; the rest of us will be okay.

Fact: Covid-19 is an endothelial blood clot disease as well as a pulmonary disease. Blood clots travel to all other organs in the body, including the brain, and can cause serious damage even in survivors. People are at least ten times more likely to get blood clots issues, neurological issues, than dying.

Many covid-19 survivors report painful and debilitating symptoms. Some report feeling like they were being suffocated.  During these episodes their blood oxygen levels drop, which causes biochemical stress in many organs.

The death rate alone is staggeringly higher than what we normally see from influenza.

 A death rate of .5% is higher than any other viral pandemic that has hit the United States since The Spanish flu, the 1918 flu pandemic.

The United States of America has a population of over three hundred million people. Over six hundred thousand Americans have already died due to this disease. If left unchecked, Covid-19 would kill some 1.5 million Americans – this is comparable to the death toll scale of

1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic – 50 million people died worldwide, about 675,000 of those deaths occurring in the United States.

Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge Cambodian genocide, in which 1.5 to 2 million Cambodians were killed.

Turkey’s genocide of Armenians, in which 800,000 to 1 million Armenians were killed.

The Shoah (Holocaust) in which 6 million Jewish people were killed.

Deaths are just a small part of the coronavirus story: Covid-19 is an endothelial blood clot disease.

Many covid-19 patients have blood clots in the legs, lungs, and cerebral arteries leading to the brain. Likely in other locations as well.

Above image: formation of an occlusive thrombus in a vein.

Blood clots may lead to

* strokes
* encephalitis (swelling of the brain)
* heart attacks
* inflammation of the heart
* deep vein thromboses in the legs
* clots in the lungs
* stroke-causing clots in cerebral arteries.
* pain, shortness of breath
* fatigue, dizziness due to lack of oxygen to the brain
* kidney failure
* degradation of kidney dialysis: clots can clog kidney dialysis machines.

Doctors have documented short term neurological damage, even in some otherwise asymptomatic people; it is considered likely that there is long-term neurological damage as well.

“If you start to put all of the data together that’s emerging, it turns out that this virus is probably a vasculotropic virus, meaning that it affects the [blood vessels],”

In a paper published in April in the scientific journal The Lancet, Mehra and a team of scientists discovered that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can infect the endothelial cells that line the inside of blood vessels.

Endothelial cells protect the cardiovascular system, and they release proteins that influence everything from blood clotting to the immune response. In the paper, the scientists showed damage to endothelial cells in the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and intestines in people with Covid-19.

– Covid-19 May Be a Blood Vessel Disease, Dana G. Smith

How covid attacks the brain

Many patients who are hospitalized for COVID-19 are discharged with symptoms such as those associated with a brain injury….

COVID-19 also appears to produce many other brain-related symptoms ranging from seizures to psychosis, a team reports in the Jan. 5 issue of the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia…. it may even increase a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

For many affected patients, brain function improves as they recover. But some are likely to face long-term disability, de Erausquin says.

… “What we found was that the very small blood vessels in the brain were leaking,” Nath says. “And it wasn’t evenly — you would find a small blood vessel here and a small blood vessel there.” The injuries resembled those from a series of tiny strokes occurring in many different areas of the brain, Nath says.

Microvascular Injury in the Brains of Patients with Covid-19 Letters, New England Journal of Medicine, Myoung-Hwa Lee et al, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2033369

How COVID-19 Attacks The Brain And May Cause Lasting Damage, Jon Hamilton, Shots: NPR Health News, 1/5/2021

The chronic neuropsychiatric sequelae of COVID‐19: The need for a prospective study of viral impact on brain functioning, Gabriel A. de Erausquin et al, Alzheimer’s & Dementia [journal,] 1/5/2021,  https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.12255

Conclusions

Many covid-19 survivors may die many years or decades earlier than they otherwise would have, due to the blood clots and endothelial damage.

The full death toll of Covid-19 will likely be many times higher than the current toll. As of May 2021 some 600,000 Americans have died. Doctors estimate that over the years, at least twice as many more people – another 1.2 million – will  also die from their covid-19 damage.

We are still seeing many people die each day from Covid. Herd immunity has not yet been reached. As such the long term death toll of Americans likely will top 2 million people.

How to protect ourselves

Gather knowledge, e.g. Covid 19 is an airborne virus

Wearing masks in certain situations – Unmasking mask myths

Social distancing

Washing hands

Zinc supplements and coronaviruses, rhinoviruses, common cold

Getting a covid-19 vaccination

Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker, Bloomberg

High effectiveness of covid-19 vaccines, breakthrough cases and the base rate fallacy

References

What Does COVID Do to Your Blood? John Hopkins Medicine, Panagis Galiatsatos, M.D., M.H.S. and Robert Brodsky, M.D.

Covid-19 May Be a Blood Vessel Disease, Which Explains Everything, Dana G. Smith, Elemental, 5/29/2020

How COVID-19 Attacks The Brain And May Cause Lasting Damage, Jon Hamilton, Shots: NPR Health News, 1/5/2021

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1 Comment

  1. […] This is pretty much the ‘worst case’ scenario of any similar disease seen. Not a simple ‘flu’ my friends and taking precautions (wearing a mask, physical distancing, building our immunity) is a “must do.” Take a quick read. Kaiser Science. […]

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