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Spine Infection Detected in Elderly Patients After COVID-19 Recovery

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While breathing issues and weakness are some of the common post-Covid complications observed in patients, doctors in Mumbai have noticed a spine infection in some elderly patients. Six elderly patients with spine infection were treated in four weeks at Nanavati Hospital. Spine surgeon Dr. Mihir Bapat said the patients will take three months to move around normally, reported Times of India.

A 68-year-old patient from Vasai spent more than Rs 15 lakh since he contracted COVID-19 in September. The patient faced excruciating pain in his lower back after he was admitted to a local hospital for 10 days for coronavirus treatment.

The patient was diagnosed with spine tuberculosis. However, when the patient was referred to Dr. Bapat, in a spinal biopsy it was found gram-negative bacteria in hospital ICUs. Dr. Bapat said the spine infection was not due to coronavirus but possibly related to low-immunity.

Another doctor, Dr. Samir Dalvie from Hinduja Hospital, also saw cases of spine infection in patients who recovered from coronavirus. A doctor said spine infections are caused by micro-organisms found only in hospital ICUs, which means patients get infected during their initial stay for corona treatment.

Dr. Rahul Pandit, ICU head of Fortis Hospital and a member of the state task-force on coronavirus said microbes fester in the spinal epidural space (between vertebral wall and membrane).

The doctors said there was a need to suspect spinal infections early. "If a recovered COVID-19 patient has back pain and that does not improve after bed rest for at least two weeks, further investigations should be done," Dr Bapat said.

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Schedule11 Dec 2023