The Italian Government’s technical scientific committee warns people who recovered from COVID-19 ‘could have respiratory problems for months’ afterwards.
As Serie A prepares to get back on the pitch, well over a dozen players have tested positive for coronavirus over the last few months.
They have made full recoveries, but there are still genuine concerns over their physical fitness, especially when playing at the height of summer.
“In many patients who were hospitalised or intubated, we observe after their release some respiratory problems that can go on for several months after the infection has been resolved,” CTS member Luca Richeldi told La Repubblica.
The CTS has been used to evaluate and approve the medical protocol for players to get back to training and playing games.
“If we look at the data that was gathered in the past with SARS, those who recovered still had very clear issues in their X-Rays that restricted respiratory function even six months afterwards.
“It showed itself in a distinct reduction of pulmonary capacity and strength of the respiratory muscles, so for instance a definite drop in the distance they could cover in six minutes of walking.
“Above all, 30 per cent of recovered patients showed diffuse signs of pulmonary fibrosis, which are scars on the lung tissue, with an irreversible compromising of the respiratory capabilities. In practical terms, they could get respiratory problems even after a normal stroll.”
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