COVID: For six months after exposure to the virus, the risk of blood clots is increased

Image credit: medicalnewstoday.com

According to a Swedish study, after a COVID infection, there is an increased risk of having a major blood clot for the next six months.

People with severe COVID, as well as those infected during the initial wave, had the highest clot risk, according to the study.

This emphasises the need to get vaccinated against the virus. Blood clots can happen after immunisation, but the risk is far lower, according to a major UK study.

Patients who have received COVID-19 are more prone to developing blood clots, especially those who have had to go to the hospital. Scientists wanted to know when the danger would return to normal.

The researchers examined the health of a little over one million people who tested positive for COVID in Sweden between February 2020 and May 2021 and four million people of the same age and sex who had not tested positive.

They discovered that after a COVID infection, there was a higher chance of

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots in the leg, can last up to three months.
  • A pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs) can last for up to six months.
  • Internal bleeding that can last up to two months, similar to a stroke

In those who were extremely critically unwell with COVID, the chance of a blood clot in the lung was 290 times higher than normal, and seven times higher than normal after moderate COVID. In mild cases, however, there was no increased risk of internal bleeding.

The researchers can’t confirm that COVID is to blame for the blood clots in this study, but they do have a few possibilities.

It could be due to the virus’s direct influence on the layer of cells that line blood vessels, excessive inflammatory response to the virus, or the body’s tendency to form blood clots at inopportune periods.

Vaccines are highly effective against severe COVID, but they provide less protection against infection, especially with the Omicron variety, which means that recurring infections with symptoms are typical as countries learn to live with COVID.

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