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Covid -19 and secondary infections

Our generation has seen one of the most enthralling incidences in the history of mankind. From technological innovation to biggest pandemics. Every incidence is making us stronger day by day and also provides us the power to innovate and combat the challenges in front of us.
Covid-19 has shown us how vulnerable we are to a small virus. The eye opener is infections and its devastating impact. No matter what precautions we take, as a race we are still susceptible to pathogen attack. But in this article, I want to bring to your notice a bigger threat that was brewing under our nose and only came to light post Covid; secondary infections. Yes, Infections have been one of the most common cause of mortality. An infection which manifests under the shadow of other infection or disease condition is called secondary infections. These types of infection usually occur when the patient is undergoing treatment for the primary ailment. Secondary, Infections not only cause harm to the patient but to everyone associated with them. The economic and social impact is even worse than the infection itself.

We have heard the names like Black, White and Yellow fungus. These are all secondary infections happening post covid. Why are they happening even after the person is recovered from Covid? Well, the answer is complicated and easy at the same time. Infections are accidents which happens suddenly, which could have been prevented easily. For example, all the reason for majority of fungal infections happening post covid is blamed on steroid treatment of covid. To a large extent it is true, however it’s not the only reason. When the patient’s immunity is down all these opportunistic pathogens get a chance to infect the patent.

Steroids essentially decrease the inflammation i.e they reduce the immediate immune response that body has created, which is essential for Covid pneumonia management. In this process the steroids increase the blood sugar levels causing the patient becoming diabetic. If the patient is already diabetic it makes situations even worse. When the blood sugar levels are high the body enters in to ketoacidosis state resulting in sugar and nutrients everywhere, in blood and in urine. Now the immunity is down and there is food available for the pathogens, a perfect situation for infections to stay foot. It’s like taking the electricity off from barbed fencing wire and keeping wire cutter close, so that the infiltrator can easily sneak in. Fungal spores are present in air and they can enter easily through nostrils, where the infection begins. Once the infection sets in during and post Covid recovery phase it starts to show symptoms after two weeks. One of the sad facts which is coming out is that majority of these infections are caught in hospitals, the suspicion is humidifiers used during oxygen therapy. Few studies are now coming up confirming the said reason. The treatment, surgery and care make it one of the most troubled disease.

A lot of patients are also getting Urinary tract infections during covid treatment mostly due to a catheter inserted for assisting urination. Since the immunity of the patient is low as I explained earlier, bacteria or fungus climb up the catheter and cause the infection in bladder. The problem is, once infection occurs the only option is antibiotics. This makes the situation even worse. The patient is already on multiple drugs causing a lot pressure on kidneys the antibiotics cause additional pressure on kidneys. Besides, there is always a threat of resistant infection, as most of them are hospital acquired infection. These infections can become fatal very quickly.

Covid has shown us that the threat of secondary infections is as bad, or even worse than covid infection itself. The key is prevention of infection. Never in our lives we have taken prevention so seriously, but now that we have, let’s come together innovate and bring them to practice. We have done our bit by introducing SilvoGuard antimicrobial urinary catheters which has the power of silver to kill the pathogens causing urinary tract infections. We are trying to reduce hospital acquired infections by bringing more and more antimicrobial hospital products.
It’s our fate to live alongside the pathogens, least we can do is to give a tough fight and keep us happily healthy. Let’s join hands to prevention infections and reduce hospital acquired infections.

Article by:
Dr. Milind Choudhari
Milind is founder and CEO of WIB. He is passionate for infection prevention and working in nanotechnology-biology interface since last 10 years.

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