Anemia increases risk of death in Covid-19 sufferers, expert say

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Lecturer of Faculty of Public Health (FKM) UNAIR Dr. M. Atoillah Isfandiari, dr., M.Kes. (Photo: Personal Doc.)

UNAIR NEWS – During Covid-19 pandemic, the public is getting more worried about various diseases, including anemia. So is Covid-19 related to anemia or vice versa?

A lecturer of Faculty of Public Health (FKM) Universitas Airlangga Dr. M. Atoillah Isfandiari, dr., M.Kes confirmed this. He said anemia could be caused by Covid-19.

Ato also added that anemia can affect severity of Covid-19. Thus, affect the body’s resistance to covid-19 infection. “It means that people who are infected with Covid-19 and experience anemia have a heavier risk than those who are not anemic,” he explained.

According to Ato, the main problem with Covid-19 infection is hypoxia or lack of oxygen. He continued, it can cause shortness of breath and respiratory failure leading to organ failure and death. So in people with anemia, the ability to supply oxygen to body tissues is also reduced.

“So the key is in oxygen transport,” he concluded.

He explained, Covid-19 contains a protein that has the potential to attack red blood cells and binding iron. So, the red blood cells will be damaged. Furthermore, it can also trigger inflammation in some tissues in the organs.

Ato’s explanation was supported by the findings of some studies conducted in China and The US. The results proved that the combination of anemia and Covid-19 increases the risk of death. “All of these studies are consistent. The result is the same, “added Ato.

According to Ato, Covid-19 is a very smart virus because the virus not only causes pneumonia in the lungs, but also health problems such as anemia. “That is why, 50 percent of Covid-19 sufferers had respiratory failure even though they were on ventilators, it does not work,” he added.

In the end, Ato said, low iron levels can trigger a decline in the immune system so it is easy to be infected with diseases. Moreover, anemia also increases the risk of complications affecting the heart and throat.

“Don’t let yourself infected with Covid-19, avoid anemia because anemia, if you have Covid-19, will get worse, “said Ato. (*)

Author: Erika Eight Novanty

Editor : Binti Q. Masruroh

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Media komunikasi dan informasi seputar kampus Universitas Airlangga (Unair).

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