One of them died due to ‘massive bleeding’ and severe COVID-19-related chest disease
Five cases of Cytomegalovirus (CMV)-related rectal bleeding were reported in COVID-19 recovered patients during the second wave at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a private hospital in Delhi, according to hospital authorities.
One of the five patients died due to "massive bleeding" and "severe" COVID-19-related chest disease, the hospital said.
All five patients were immunocompetent before COVID-19, which means that they did not suffer from any condition which lowered their immunity.
Doctors said CMV is usually present in the body, but it develops into a disease when a person’s immunity is lowered after COVID-19 infection.
"Any person who recovered from COVID-19, if they have abdominal pain or blood in their stool, then should immediately go to a hospital. Also, hospitals should test for CMV if they see these symptoms," said Dr. Anil Arora, Chairman, Institute of Liver, Gastroenterology and Pancreaticobiliary Sciences at the hospital.
"Out of five cases with age group of 30-70 years were from Delhi NCR, four had presented with lower gastrointestinal bleed that is bleeding in stools and one patient presented with intestinal obstruction. Two of them had massive bleed, one requiring emergency lifesaving surgery in the form of removal of right side of the colon and one of them has succumbed due to massive bleeding and severe COVID chest disease. Other three patients were successfully treated with antiviral therapy with ganciclovir," Dr. Arora said.
He said that mucormycosis, white fungus, and CMV are opportunistic infections and they are looking for people with weak immunity.
"What you have do is that after recovering from COVID-19, you have to build you immunity by eating healthy. You have to avoid junk food," Dr. Arora said.
CMV was earlier seen in immunocompromised patients such as people with cancer or who are HIV positive, the hospital spokesperson said.
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