Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread across the planet, infecting more people and straining health systems. Attention is focused on mortality however morbidity can be serious and debilitating. Scientific publications and News media reports indicate that up to 10% of people infected suffer long term harm.
An exaggerated immune response or cytokine storm is the most common cause of severe respiratory disease however the cytokine storm can cause organ damage to the brain, heart, lung, liver, kidney, and gut.
Several studies have shown that severely affected survivors may have permanent organ damage. Such damage might cause permanent respiratory disease with dependence on supplemental oxygen, severe fatigue, stroke, epilepsy, cardiac arrest and accelerated dementia.
People with different blood types may be differentially affected by this disease, and the presence of comorbidities such as diabetes and other chronic diseases contributes to poorer outcomes. Everyone has a different susceptibility to infection which means that the same exposure to virus load might infect some but not all individuals. The higher the virus load the greater the risk.
There is no cure, no vaccine and no antidote.
For now, prevention is the best approach, and this requires precautions to eliminate transmission of disease. Such precautions include social isolation, quarantine, reduced movement of people, wearing masks, face shields, eye protection and good hand-hygiene practices including wearing gloves.
At Brisbane Eye Clinic we have implemented extensive safety protocols to keep you, other patients and our team safe during this evolving crisis. It may be a different experience coming to the office but we can assure you that every precaution is being taken to prevent the spread of this disease.
While, we expect the current situation to worsen before it improves, a new dawn will arrive. For now, we all need to calibrate behaviours in proportion to rates of community transmission.
If you would like to read more about the Brisbane Eye Clinic COVID-19 policy, you can view it here.