9 minutes agoAuthor: Ravindra Bhajani

Fungal infections were still occurring after recovery from Kovid-19, now a new threat has emerged in the form of cytomegalo virus being reactive. This problem is coming to the fore 20-30 days after recovery in patients infected in the second wave of Kovid-19. 5 cases have been reported in Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. He complained of abdominal pain and rectal bleeding. One of them has also died.

To know about this cytomegalo virus and its symptoms, we consulted Dr. Mala Kaneria, Consultant in the Department of Infectious Diseases at Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai, Dr. Vivek Dave, Critical Care Specialist at Narayana Multispecialty Hospital, Ahmedabad and Critical at Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Spoke to Dr. Pankaj Anand, Senior Consultant in the Care and ICU Department.

What is cytomegalo virus?

  • Cytomegalo virus (CMV) is not a new virus. It is already present in 80% to 90% of the Indian population. It is a double-standard DNA virus, which is a member of the human herpes virus family.
  • Healthy people need not worry, but it attacks people with weak immune system. It is also responsible for chickenpox and infectious mononucleosis which can occur at any age.
  • 50%-80% of people get CMV infection before the age of 40. However, a healthy person’s immune system can prevent infection. It can be asymptomatic or a flu-like illness. If CMV enters your body, it remains for life.
  • The risk increases when immunity is weakened due to Kovid-19, steroids given in its treatment and other reasons. It spreads through blood, urine and saliva of an infected patient. It can damage all organs, including the brain, heart, lungs, intestines and kidneys.

How is cytomegalo virus affecting COVID-19 patients?

  • Professor Anil Arora of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said in an interview that during the second wave of corona in April-May, we have seen five cases of CMV infection. Symptoms of bleeding with abdominal pain and stool appeared 20-30 days after the Kovid-19 diagnosis. Out of these 5 patients, one patient died due to severe covid infection and heavy bleeding.
  • Patients recovering from Kovid-19 who already had a serious illness may be the target of this virus. Patients who have been given steroids or other anti-inflammatory drugs are also at risk.
  • Such patients have weak immunity, due to which other infections like fungal along with cytomegalo virus can easily affect them. There have been cases of CMV pneumonia in severe patients and rectal bleeding after recovery in mild to moderate patients.

What are the symptoms of cytomegalo virus infection?

  • The most common symptoms of CMV are fever, sore throat, muscle aches or fatigue, and skin rash. If the immunity is good, then in 2-3 weeks these symptoms go away on their own even without treatment.
  • If a person’s immunity is weak, then CMV can damage many organs. Lungs, GIT (stomach, colon), eyes, bone marrow, liver, kidney, brain etc. can also be targeted.
  • When this virus dominates, the weight of the patient starts decreasing. Symptoms of diarrhea or rectal bleeding (blood with stool) have also been observed in some patients. It can also be fatal.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

  • The age of the five patients found in Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is 30 to 70 years old. Four had less gastrointestinal bleeding. Another patient was observed to have intestinal disorders. Two patients had heavy bleeding and one had to undergo emergency surgery. Three patients were cured with antiviral therapy.
  • For diagnosis, samples are sent for CMV viral load (quantitative)/PCR (molecular test). Apart from this, tissue biopsy and DNA PCR can also be done. Cytomegalo virus can be treated with oxygen, the antiviral ganciclovir (intravenous), and other methods. Experts recommend that these patients should be screened for secondary bacterial sepsis.

Are stomach related diseases also coming to the fore after recovery from Kovid?

  • Yes. Some cases have been reported in Mumbai, where even after recovering from Kovid, stomach-related diseases have been diagnosed in patients. A 48-year-old woman had a swollen gallbladder, which is usually caused by stones. But he had no stone. This problem came to the fore two weeks after recovering from Kovid-19 infection.
  • Cases of inflammation in the gallbladder have also come in many other countries. Doctors at the University Hospitals of Geneva have also mentioned this in the Journal of Hepatology. Mumbai’s Aakash Healthcare Hospital also claimed that 50 patients have been admitted for stomach related diseases after recovery from Kovid. Actually, the good thing was that the patients contacted the hospital at the right time. Otherwise, these symptoms could prove fatal.

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