MOH: Recovered COVID-19 Patients May Have Lower Levels Of Immunity

The Ministry of Health is conducting tests looking at the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on patients.

Cover image via ODISI & Wang Yuguo/Xinhua

During a press conference yesterday, 24 June, Health director-general (D-G) Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah discussed findings of lower immunity levels in recovered COVID-19 patients

Aside from complications affecting the lungs and hearts of critically-ill COVID-19 patients, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has discovered that recovered patients may also experience reduced immunity levels after three months

Dr Noor Hisham explained that an individual's level of antibodies - proteins that protect the body against foreign substances - was found to have decreased months after recovery. 

"If a person has low immunity, they are then susceptible to infections other than COVID-19," the Health D-G noted.

Image via ODISI

In partnership with the Institute of Respiratory Medicine, the MOH is currently conducting tests and check-ups monitoring the long-term effects of the novel coronavirus on patients

In particular, Dr Noor Hisham said that the ministry will be ensuring follow-up care for COVID-19 patients who were under categories four and five. 

Category four refers to individuals who require oxygen, while category five patients are those who have to be supported with a ventilator. 

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

Some of the long-term effects of COVID-19 includes lung complications and slower blood flow

According to Dr Noor Hisham, the SARS-CoV-2 virus typically attacks the lungs, causing a 'cytokine storm', which is the sudden and excessive release of pro-inflammatory proteins within the body. This could lead to organ failure and potential death. 

The surge of these molecules could result in slower blood flow around the body, leading to increased chances of blood clotting, where the blood converts from a liquid to a gel state. 

Dr Noor Hisham confirmed that, "There are two or three patients who have had this [phenomena] happen in their intestines and kidneys."

Doctors have been advised to use specific medication for treating lung-related issues and to prevent blood clotting

The Health D-G mentioned that dexamethasone, the anti-inflammatory steroid said to raise survival rates in critically-ill COVID-19 patients, should be given to those with pneumonia. 

Image via Virus Defense

He added that low-molecular-weight heparin, commonly known as a blood thinner, can be used to prevent blood clotting.

Image via KidneyBuzz

Keep practising social distancing and wash your hands often. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

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