When you’re busy fishing, it’s difficult to keep up with all the new information being published on COVID-19. That’s OK, we’re here to help. Here’s some disturbing new info on the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 that caught our attention.
COVID-19 was the second leading cause of death in the U.S. in September. However, it was the leading cause of death for people aged 35 to 54. The U.S. mortality rate stands at 1.6%. But, just because you’ll probably survive, doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. We’ve been saying that one in three COVID patients go on to develop long-term medical conditions. However, a new study published in JAMA suggests that more than half of COVID-19 patients develop long-term medical conditions as result of their illness. Here are a few of the conditions reported.
Diabetes – New research shows that the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects and kills β cells in the pancreas, the same cells that synthesize and secrete insulin. From early in the pandemic, diabetes has been linked to poor outcomes for COVID-19 patients. It now appears that COVID-19 may be a cause of diabetes post recovery.
According to a recent article, of those who develop long-term conditions, “Two-thirds (65%) reported experiencing symptoms for 6 months. Cognitive dysfunction was one of the top three most debilitating symptoms, alongside fatigue and breathlessness.”
Brain damage – New research shows evidence of reduced gray matter, cell damage, and cognitive deficits resulting from even mild or asymptomatic cases of COVID-19. While this paper is yet to be peer reviewed, a study published in the Lancet this past July demonstrated cognitive decline for both patients placed on ventilators and those with mild or asymptomatic cases of COVID-19.
These are all conditions that can keep you from fishing and limit your income. Diabetes, fatigue, and shortness of breath are bad enough. But, cognitive deficits are frightening. Commonly reported effects are reduced ability to concentrate, short and medium term memory deficits, and reduced ability to plan and execute complex tasks.
We don't yet know how many of those with long-term medical conditions will improve over time. However, commercial fishermen need to be at the top of their game in order to cope with bad weather, physical fatigue, and insufficient sleep. You don’t need to be struggling with the after effects of a largely preventable disease.
Despite what you may read on social media, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing infection, serious disease, and death. In addition, new research indicates that vaccination may offer protection against long term medical conditions, in the case of breakthrough infections. We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19, but the evidence is clear that vaccination is the surest way to protect your health, your income, and your fishing career. Use our Vaccine Finder to locate your vaccination. Then get vaccinated and get back to fishing.