With over 3.3m precious lives lost to the pandemic, the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has been a blockbuster horror movie –not one we are enjoying, though. Terribly contagious and discriminately lethal, you have every right to be worried about the virus if you have liver conditions.
You may be tempted into overrating the leniency of the virus when you hear that more than 80% of people who have COVID-19 symptoms only develop a mild illness. But this may not apply to people with underlying conditions, especially liver-related ones like Hepatitis B or C.
To better educate you on the impact COVID-19 can have on your liver, let us answer those questions nagging in your mind.
Will COVID-19 destroy my liver?
The word “destroy” has some exaggerative tones to it, but there is no doubt that the COVID-19 virus poses extra risks to your liver. Ongoing investigations in hospitalized COVID-19 patients reveal a considerable hike in liver enzyme levels.
Increases were observed for such enzymes as the aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and the alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Such increment is strongly suggestive of liver damage – which may not necessarily be permanent.
People with scarred livers – typical of cirrhosis – no doubt are more vulnerable to COVID-inspired mishaps. Precisely, people with chronic liver disease who are also infected with COVID-19, when compared to people with no liver comorbidity, are more susceptible to death.
Am I at increased risk of severe sickness if I have Hepatitis B or C?
Unfortunately, the answer is a YES. If you have underlying liver disease – be it Hep B or C – your risks of experiencing severe illness, even as far as getting into the ICU, are higher.
This information is not aimed at raising your alarm levels but essentially raising your commitment levels to following your treatment plans, diligently pursuing the recommendations of your healthcare provider, and adhering to scientifically established safety guidelines.