World News – GB – Brazil: Life after COVID-19


Maria Alzenir Lima was released from hospital a month ago The Sao Paulo local, 53, has officially recovered from her COVID-19 infection, but is still struggling with a persistent cough and shortness of breath Getting around is a big challenge And after all this time, she still needs extra oxygen

Alzenir – nurse by training – spent 40 days in hospital Her husband, who also contracted SARS-CoV-2, was hospitalized a day after her He died on August 4 from complications in the heart and kidneys. by disease

« I still can’t believe it When I was hospitalized, my husband was still fine », says Alzenir « I find it hard to understand that he will not be home when I return » Alzenir has not yet returned to her own home but has been living with daughter Barbara Lima since her discharge as she requires 24 hour care

Last week, when the global coronavirus death toll exceeded one million, with 140,000 of those deaths recorded in Brazil alone, Alzenir did his 10th physiotherapy session with his daughter to deal with the aftermath of her long stay in hospital Alzenir’s leg muscles have become weak and walking is difficult for her She says immediately after being released she couldn’t even stand Now at least she can walk a few steps, she said

Extended hospital stays wreak havoc all over the body, says Marli Sartori, infectious disease specialist at Santa Lucia Hospital in Brasilia « Patients with COVID-19 in intensive care usually need three four weeks before you can be discharged from the hospital, ”she says, adding that additional therapy is then needed for a full recovery

Alzenir’s relatives pay the equivalent of € 12 ($ 14) each week for her to attend private therapy sessions Brazil’s public health care system, known as SUS, does not not cover these expenses The costs of Alzenir’s care will increase even more, as she will have to see a lung specialist

For now, however, her relatives do not want to risk taking her outside « I was worried from the very beginning – but now that I have lost my father and almost my mother, I am still more careful, « says her daughter. » She can get by without extra oxygen, but what if she starts to feel bad when we’re outside?  »

Alzenir still cannot eat properly, because swallowing hurts her She also suffers from a persistent cough But her physiotherapist Evelyn Felisari says this is not a sign that the disease is recurring, but results from the two weeks that  » she passed on a ventilator, because the device irritates the receptors in the larynx She says Alzenir’s lung has also been strained, as has his diaphragm « The goal is to get patients back in shape within a month, although this always varies depending on the person »

A study by the South Korean Agency for Disease Control and Prevention found that nine out of 10 patients with COVID-19 suffer from long-term problems such as fatigue or loss of smell and taste after recovery from illness About 26% of those who took part in the study reported suffering from chronic fatigue, making it the most common long-term symptom Nature, a weekly science journal, cites another study revealing neurological damage from the virus. And according to a Japanese study, COVID-19 could also damage brain tissue

About 300 studies have been devoted to studying the potential long-term health implications of COVID-19 Aphasia – the inability to understand or formulate language due to damage to certain regions of the brain – as well as strokes and seizures are among the most serious suspicious consequences

The German public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), warns that it is still too early to make reliable claims regarding the long-term effects of the pathogen and whether it causes irreversible damage Even so, if what many studies suggest is true, thousands, if not tens of thousands of former COVID-19 sufferers will end up struggling with lingering health issues, possibly for the rest of their lives. life The original belief that SARS-CoV-2 only damages people’s airways has been abandoned.The German RKI warns on its website that the virus can cause damage in a variety of ways, affecting the lungs, kidneys, liver and heart

And maybe that’s not all Maria Alzenir seems to be suffering from short term memory loss « Yesterday she asked me why one of our relatives hasn’t visited us – even if he came yesterday « , remembers her daughter Barbara Since contracting the virus, Alzenir has also suffered from insomnia, a problem she did not have before

Maria Alzenir and her relatives live in the Sapopemba district of Sao Paulo, which has around 300,000 inhabitants It has seen some of the highest coronavirus infection and death rates in the country More than 520 deaths have been recorded here until early August alone, including that of Alzenir’s husband, Jose Wellington de Sousa

Alzenir says her late husband, 69, begged her to stop working amid the pandemic He told her they could take advantage of her pension « But I didn’t want that so every day, I took the crowded bus to go to work « , says Alzenir Now, looking back, she would have liked him to have listened to her

After weeks of consistently high infection rates, Sao Paulo state sees gradual flattening of the curve Even so, the region is not out of the woods According to Dados Transparentes – a Brazilian public health website – Sao Paulo state recorded some 32,000 new infections and 1,070 deaths in the last seven days Indeed, while social distancing measures have lowered the infection curve in many countries, Brazil has seen infection rates remain at a consistently high level, and the country has now recorded nearly 5 million confirmed cases and 146.00 deaths

Despite these grim numbers, many Brazilians have flocked to beaches and bars across the country to socialize and party after lockdown restrictions were lifted Tamires, the daughter-in-law of Maria Alzenirs, is deeply concerned about this recklessness « Although many people in our street are infected, some continue to party, » she says

But Alzenir herself can understand their need to relax and enjoy life.After all these months, she too would love to head for a cold beer, she says

Coronavirus, Brazil, shortness of breath

News from the world – GB – Brazil: life after COVID-19


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