The post-Covid syndrome has become a well-known entity among the people of the world. It is something in which some patients who had suffered from the COVID virus and has recovered from it, still continue to experience Covid-like symptoms for months after the recovery. The city doctors have now noticed a symptom that is affecting the health and is also causing spine infection in some elderly patients and who are hospitalized for the viral fever.
At a hospital which is in Juhu named Nanavati Hospital , around six elderly patients with some kind of spine infection or abscess were treated in the four weeks. Dr Mihir Bapat who is a spine surgeon said that they needed hospitalization for weeks during their Covid-19 infection. He said that the infection was so severe that the five of them needed a spine surgery plus they also needed last-resort antibiotics. Dr Bapat said that they will require around three months so that they can move around normally.
A patient named Renold Sirwel who is a resident of Vasai, his medical bills since he had Covid in the month of September till now were more than Rs 15 lakh. Renold is 68-year-old he also had four hospitalisations, he had a spine surgery and a nurse comes to his home thrice a day to manage the IV antibiotics that cost Rs 7,000 daily.
His son’s name is Vinit, he said that his father never fells ill and that he would walk 10km daily till the day he got tested positive for Covid. Renold was admitted to a local hospital for 10 days and he also got remdesivir for his treatment. Within few days after he got discharge and after returning home, he was taken back again to hospital with a lot of lower back pain. Over the next two months, he visited doctors as his pain started getting worse and he was also started to give the treatment for spine tuberculosis.
He was taken and was shown to Dr Bapat and a spinal biopsy showed the gram-negative bacteria that was found only in hospital ICUs. Sirwel, a person who underwent spine operation at the Nanavati hospital on 7th December and after he was discharged a fortnight later, he had to take last-resort antibiotics like colistin and tigecycline for the next three weeks.
While the Sirwels wonder what led him to get the spine infection, doctors said that it is not a Covid-related infection. Dr Bapat said that it is possibly related to the Covid patients who have low immunity.
Dr Samir Dalvie who is another spine surgeon from Hinduja Hospital, also saw cases of spine abscesses in the patients who had recovered after the COVID. He said that the Covid affects the body’s ability, It affects the way that body fights with infections and makes it weak and that could have been latent and flare up.
Another doctor said that the spine infections are caused among the people are by the micro-organisms that are found only in the ICUs of the hospital. This means that the patient got that during the person’s initial hospital stay when they were being treated for Covid.
Dr Rahul Pandit who is the ICU head at Fortis Hospital and he is also a member of the state task-force on Covid. He said that microbes fester in the spine epidural space which is in between the vertebral wall and membrane. He also said that at Fortis, a patient, after the Covid is developed an abscess in the area that is outside the spine.
The doctors said that there was a need to suspect and look ahead for the spinal infections as early as possible. Dr Bapat said that if a patient who has recovered from COVID and has back pain that does not improve even after they had bed rest for at least two weeks then the further investigations are needed for them and that they need to get a check up.