RECOVERY IS THE RULE
Edited for CME INDIA
⭕Timely action can save lives as most cases are mild; few are moderate and less than 5% are serious.
⭕Death rate is reducing as we are now able to better manage cases.
⭕In all patients who have loss of smell/taste, recovery is the rule and mortality is an exception. Analysis of 100 patients with loss of smell/taste showed that none needed oxygen or ventilator or hospitalization. Occurred more often in males, at any age and recovery is the rule within 4 weeks.
⭕Recovery if the rule means that the disease is salvageable at every step. It does not mean that mortality is zero.
⭕After 9 days, the virus becomes non-replicative and after 9 days, the illness is a post-Covid complication.
⭕Day 1 is the day when any of the symptom/s recognized by the CDC/MOHFW guidelines such as fever, throat irritation, subconjuctival hemorrhage, rash, diarrhea, headache, calf pain etc.; test may or may not be positive.
⭕Post-Covid inflammation is very common. It can be in the form of persistent fever/sore throat/bronchitis/diarrhea/cystitis/ exertional tachycardia.
⭕Doctors have high viral load because of repeated exposure and they have more hypercoagulable state. So, if all HCWs are given anticoagulant + short course of steroids, even in mild cases, recovery is the rule.
⭕In non-HCW group of patients, if there are signs of chest congestion on Day 3-4, do an immediate chest CT scan and give 10-day course of steroids, antiviral and anticoagulant, then recovery should be the rule and death an exception.
⭕RT PCR may be positive for up to 40 days; this does not mean that the virus is culturable. The virus is culturable for only 9 days, after 9 days, the virus is present but is non-culturable. This data is available for patients who are not on ventilator.
⭕If any illness is developed during the 9 days, then the post-Covid illness (post-Covid inflammatory state) may last for up to 6 weeks.
⭕A delayed cytokine storm, which occurs between Day 14 and18, has been observed in Mumbai. A 6-minute walk test is now mandatory at the time of discharge to look for drop in oxygen saturation. This is a valid marker for delayed cytokine storm. Give 5-10 days of LMWH/oral anticoagulant and small dose of statin at the time of discharge, especially to those who have been in hospital for >28 days and are >55 years age. This can reduce mortality.
⭕Initially steroids were given only in serious cases, but now their indication has also shifted to moderately severe cases. And the time may well come when steroid may become mandatory in all patients starting from Day 3. Timely steroids can prevent secondary cytokine crisis.
⭕Capacity building not just of HCWs but also RWAs etc. as many patients are in home care; issues like stigma and discrimination also need to be addressed. The word “contact” needs to be eliminated as it is a type of stigma.
⭕Indian vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine (Bharat Biotech); Moderna vaccine is mRNA vaccine; all vaccines have different technologies. Three things to be detected when a vaccine is given: Cellular antibodies, humoral protection and non-specific immunity building (innate immunity). By 15th August, we may only be able to tell whether antibodies are produced or not. Since this is a live attenuated virus, will there be a delayed response (cytokine crisis), we do not know.
⭕Isolate for 9 days, quarantine for 5 days and then monitoring with rest for next 2 weeks. Monitoring means that the person is not contagious, but is still likely to get secondary complications.
⭕Plasma therapy is effective if given within first 7 days of illness; plasma should be donated between 28 and 40 days.