COVID brings with it a range of complications, some that continue to destroy the body long after the virus is dead. Long COVID is one such condition that researchers, scientists, and medical professionals have been trying to understand better.
However, while global efforts have been concentrated on cracking the mystery of long COVID, some patients have been developing another equally devastating complication—sepsis.
What is sepsis?
Sepsis is when our body’s immune system overreacts to an infection. As a result, it begins to attack its own tissues and organs. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 11 million people die of sepsis every single year, making it one of the most common fatal illnesses.
Last year, a study published in Jama Network highlighted that there was a definite link between COVID and sepsis. WHO confirmed the findings and added that:
Patients who are critically ill with severe COVID-19 and other infectious diseases are at higher risk of developing and dying from sepsis.
The bad news is that surviving sepsis after COVID infection does not mean that you are completely out of the blue. In fact, half of all sepsis survivors will mostly experience long-term symptoms for a year, as is also the case with long COVID.
It is for this reason that experts believe there needs to be more resources sepsis survivors can rely on for support and recovery. Dr. Paul Morgan from the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said, as quoted in Senedd Research:
Primary and community care services are ill-equipped to provide - and often largely ignorant of - the needs of sepsis survivors. The only secondary care services are those provided to amputees. This is a wholly-inadequate service provision.