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Doctor explains threat of prolonged health problems after COVID-19

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 11:16 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Research shows having COVID-19 may give people prolonged health problems even months after having the virus. Dr. Carl Abraham, an infectious disease specialist, says blood clots, diabetes, lung problems, and inflammation on other organs, like the liver and kidneys, could worsen after the virus.

“We don’t know exactly what’s happening with all of these other organs, but there seems to be a disproportionate amount of inflammation in organs after you’re done with COVID,” said Abraham.

Abraham says some people have shown inflammation in the lungs, six months after having COVID-19.

It’s unclear if COVID-19 makes diabetes worse or puts people at an increased risk of developing the disease, but new research shows that it may have an impact.

“There have been studies both out of China, the U.K., the United States that seem to indicate people who have COVID have some sort of glucose regulation abnormality,” said Abraham.

Abraham says that people in the intensive care unit with COVID-19 need much higher insulin levels than normal to control blood glucose.

“China and Italy, as well as the UK, recorded children coming into the hospital who has diabetes which seems to have worse diabetic ketoacidosis,” said Abraham.

People also require more medication that they did not need before having COVID-19.

The medical community knows the virus also makes clots worse.

“Whether that’s a stroke or a heart attack or a clot somewhere else in your body, such as your lungs or in a limb, an arm or a leg that cuts off the blood supply to the point of losing that arm or leg, COVID definitely increases your risk,” said Abraham.

Abraham says with all of these health risks; it’s important to receive the vaccine.

“Millions of people are going to require significant healthcare. There is going to be a significant healthcare burden from the COVID pandemic. We don’t want more people infected. We really need to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” said Abraham.

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