Long-term lung damage?

One thing that is particularly worrying me amongst all the Covid-19 panic is long-term lung damage:

Some patients who recovered from Covid-19 have suffered reduced lung function and now experience problems such as gasping for air when walking quickly, Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority has revealed …


Dr Owen Tsang Tak-yin, medical director of the authority’s Infectious Disease Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, said doctors had already seen around a dozen discharged patients in follow-up appointments. Two to three were unable to do things as they had in the past.

The Mirror also has some scary news on this:

In the US, doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City were the first in America to analyse CT scans of Covid-19 sufferers.


The doctors said they identified specific patterns in the lungs of dozens of patients who were hospitalised in China at the height of the epidemic there.


The ground glass opacities, or patches, became more dense over time, and the patterns were similar to those found in patients who contracted SARS or MERS.


The doctors found “fully involved lung disease” in 25 patients who had scans between six and 12 days after they reported symptoms.

There’s no doubt that Covid-19 causes long-term lung damage in some patients. The thing to be hopeful of is that the figures on this will turn out to be low. There’s not enough hard data on this yet, and early newspaper reports are about as reliable as one of those gun attacks where all the media outlets report multiple gunmen, when it eventually turns out there was only one gunmen. Tens of thousands of people have now recovered from coronavirus, and there’s been few stories with real, individual people whose lungs are buggered.

(Not that proves much yet, modern journalists have no ability to go outside and interview real people even when the sun is shining and things are good, so I don’t suppose they’re going to do that when they have an excuse to stay home and read Twitter for their stories instead.)

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3 thoughts on “Long-term lung damage?

  1. Everything we’re learning is short term. Journalists do hysteria, not patience.

    Long ago we knew a political journalist. He’d recount an anecdote about a politician and then declare “I will destroy him”. We’ve used that ever since as a family joke.

  2. After I had bronchitis 5 years ago, it took me several months to get back to any semblance of breathing normally. It has left me with a 70% lung capacity according to my last test in 2019.

    i sympathise with all the C-19 victims.

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