Many infectious diseases can cause persistent symptoms and complications after the infection itself has cleared. These can range from impaired memory that improves over weeks, to general weakness that improves over months, to chronic organ dysfunction. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), an infection caused by SARS-CoV2, also appears to carry a risk of post-infection symptoms, commonly called “Long COVID”.
There have been questions whether humans will develop immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes the disease, COVID-19. This question is critical for vaccine developers. Recently, good news came from several immunologists around the world that once our bodies encounter the virus, a protective response to the virus can be achieved.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had a glimmer of hope that maybe through this crisis, trust in science and the importance of scientific research would become indisputable. It felt like we would finally see an example of what a world without just one vaccine for a deadly infectious disease would look like. But the stories that the world chooses to focus on, and those that are shared across non-expert audiences, tell a different story.
Although COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, a new review of COVID-19 studies published in the journal PLoS One shows that cardiovascular complications are common in COVID-19 patients, which might increase the risk of death.
COVID-19 has thrown North American professional baseball a curveball. An outbreak among players for the Miami Marlins, that has spread to the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals, brings into question the infection control protocols touted by Major League Baseball. But perhaps more concerning is the report that Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodríguez developed myocarditis as a result of COVID-19. Will myocarditis from COVID-19 be a strike out pitch for professional baseball?
Coronaviruses like SARS-CoV2 – which is responsible for COVID-19 – cause illness by infecting the lungs. But the impact of these viruses can be far wider. The truth is, COVID-19 can be heartbreaking.