As more and more cases of unexpected heart attacks and even strokes come to light among the healthy, young and middle-aged Indians, a new survey revealed on Friday that both unvaccinated and vaccinated people have been impacted by this new health emergency.
About 51 per cent citizens said they have one or more individuals in their close network who have experienced heart or brain stroke, blood clots, neurological complications, cancer acceleration, or other sudden medical conditions in the last two years.
According to the survey by LocalCircles, a social community platform, 62 per cent citizens said those in their network developed such conditions were double vaccinated, 11 per cent said that those impacted were single-dose vaccinated, while 8 per cent said they were not vaccinated.
While 61 per cent said their contacts with severe medical conditions had Covid once or more, 28 per cent said their contacts who experienced severe medical conditions never had Covid, according to the survey involving 32,000 citizens from 357 districts.
Researchers estimate that over 200 million people worldwide may currently be having long Covid conditions, where they are experiencing myocarditis, pericarditis, brain fog or memory issues, sleep apnea, fatigue, joint pain, and other health conditions.
In addition to these, several cases have been reported in the media just in the last 3 months where healthy, young and middle-aged individuals, both men and women have experienced a heart attack and died.
“In several of these cases, the individual was engaged in some physical activity like dance, gym, walking etc. when they experienced the cardiac event. This has led to worries and anxiety in the minds of many, wanting to understand what is driving such sudden deaths,” according to the survey.
“Stroke has been seen as a manifestation of Covid-19 in various studies, showing that 0.9 per cent to 23 per cent Covid-19 patients developed stroke,” according to Bengaluru-headquartered Narayana Health.
Though the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare came out with a “National Comprehensive Guidelines for Management of Post-COVID Sequelae” for doctors last year, not much seems to have been done to inform citizens, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, who survived more than one bout of Covid or its variants, on possible complications and the need to avoid Covid reinfections.
The government guidelines at the onset stated that “up to 20 per cent-30 per cent of patients hospitalised with severe Covid have evidence of myocardial involvement manifested by elevated troponin levels, venous thromboembolism, heart failure and arrhythmias”.
The survey found that more than half the respondents knew of at least one or more individuals who are suffering due to after-effects of Covid.
“This is a high percentage which clearly indicates that prevalence of these severe conditions is very much a reality,” the findings showed.
LocalCircles said it will escalate these findings to key stakeholders in the governments so the same can be evaluated for further research and on-ground actions.