If the public is to believe all of the unusual and atypical symptoms caused by COVID-19, uncharacteristic of any of the other seven types of coronaviruses, one might conclude this isn’t a virus at all. It must be something else. In particular, modern medicine is perplexed over patients with long-term symptomology, what has now been called long-haul COVID-19.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute For Physical Medicine in Germany find red blood cells from recovered long-haul COVID-19 patients to be enlarged which they say may explain the phenomenon of oxygen deprivation and other symptoms among these patients.
Writing in The Biophysical Journal, investigators assessed 4 million red blood cells from healthy, infected and recovering COVID-19 patients. Actively-infected patients have larger red blood cells, and 7 months after hospitalization their red blood cells are smaller (see graphic).
Investigators say these deformed cells could explain the increased risk for blood clots or embolisms (blood clot released to another organ like the lungs or brain).
According to one report, Both COVID-19 infection and vaccination increase the risk for blood clots, though in hard numbers the risk is small, a few in a million. Active infection increases the risk 8-10 times more than vaccination however. Clots were 100 times more common among COVID-19 infected patients than healthy adults. But long-term data isn’t available regarding the risk for blood clots upon reinfection with a coronavirus.
Researchers at the Michigan Medicine Frankel Cardiovascular Center believe this COVID-19 blood clotting problem emanates from antiphospholipid antibodies. Surprisingly, half of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were positive for these auto-antibodies and also had super-activated neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that can potentially be destructive if overactivated. These investigators say there are clueless as to what is causing this.
Meanwhile, researchers reporting in the CRITICAL CARE Journal may have an answer to this perplexing problem. They employed 200 milligrams of daily vitamin B1 (thiamine) intravenously and achieved a 75% reduction in absolute risk for mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to non-B1-treated patient. Additionally, B1 therapy reduced risk for thrombosis (blood clots) by 81%! This vitamin is not known for having anti-blood clotting properties. It does not make blood platelets less sticky and prone to clot.