Friday, September 18

Recovered covid-19 patients may have lower level of immunity — Health ministry

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PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has found that recovered Covid-19 patients may have a lower level of immunity, besides the complications affecting their lungs and heart.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said it was found that the level of antibodies IgM (immunoglobulin M) and IgG (immunoglobulin G) would decrease after three months.

“So it may have an effect on the individual’s immunity.

If the person has low immunity, the individual  can be susceptible to other infections not only Covid-19,† he said in his daily press conference here yesterday.

He was responding to an international report that said the lives of patients who have recovered from Covid-19 may not return to normal because some of them need lung transplants and also were at risk of getting heart attacks.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry should ensure follow-up care to monitor the health of Covid-19 patients who have recovered particularly in categories 4 and 5.

Category 4 patients are those who need oxygen, and category 5 patients are those who require ventilators to continue breathing.

The Health Ministry is currently monitoring patients who have recovered, to see the long-term side effects.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Covid-19 virus attacks the lungs and the impact of the ‘cytokine storm’  causes the virus to affect the blood vessels.

“Sometimes the blood flow slows down and blood clotting occurs.

There are two or three patients we have seen this happen to in the intestines and kidneys,† he said, Dr Noor Hisham said the current treatment for pneumonia was with Dexamethasone, while the ‘low-molecular-weight heparin’ medication was used to prevent blood clotting.

He said patients on ventilators when having lung inflammation can possibly suffer lung damage.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry was also conducting tests at the Institute of Respiratory Medicine to look at the long-term studies of patients who had been on ventilators. — Bernama