Patients who survive COVID-19 can still suffer lasting bodily damage, including to the liver and heart, researchers are finding.
Multiple studies of recovered patients from China, where the disease first emerged in November, showed impaired liver and heart function, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disorder,” Dr. Harlan Krumholtz, a cardiologist at Yale University, told the paper.
“It can affect the heart, the liver, the kidneys, the brain, the endocrine system and the blood system.”
Inflammation from the body’s immune response has been linked to strokes and heart attacks.
Researchers also wonder if the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 might lie dormant in the body for years or even decades — and then spring back to life, in the same way, that the herpes virus that causes chickenpox can reemerge as shingles.
Nearly 400,000 people across the globe have recovered from COVID-19.