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Divers face long-term health impact from COVID-19

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:22 pm
by Jan K
I got this in my e-mail .. :eek: ... -covid-19/

Divers face long-term health impact from COVID-19 Doctors and scientists are learning every day about the harmful effects of COVID-19. The long-term impact of the disease on recovered patients is only slowly emerging.
First indications paint a devastating picture for a number of divers, who had seemingly recovered from the lung disease.
Dr. Frank Hartig, a senior physician at the University Clinic Innsbruck in Austria, has treated six divers who were infected with the coronavirus but had suffered only mild symptoms. None of the six had to remain in hospital and all recuperated at home.
Although all six patients were deemed clinically recovered, the long-term damage to their lungs appears irreversible, Hartig told Austria Press Agency.
CT scans of the patients’ lungs revealed such an extent of damage that it makes a full recovery unlikely.
“This is shocking, we don’t understand what’s going on here. They are probably lifelong patients,” he said.
Two of the six patients exhibited irritable lungs, similar to asthmatics. Two patients suffered a lack of oxygen supply indicative of a persistent pulmonary shunt. And scans of four patients showed significant changes to their lungs.
The images were so at odds with the healthy-looking patients sitting in front of him, Hartig said in the interview, he had to double-check with the X-ray department that the files had not been mixed-up.
The extreme cases prompted Hartig, an avid diver himself, to write an article for German-language dive publication Wetnotes to warn divers of the potential long-term health damage of the coronavirus.
In the article, the head of the accident and emergency department at the clinic in Innsbruck advises that divers who have contracted COVID-19 in the past must consult a dive physician before entering the water again, even if they only had mild symptoms.
Hartig said it is now certain that patients who feel fully recovered can still suffer from severe effects of the lung disease weeks and months later, prohibiting diving and many other forms of exercise.
Professional divers, like dive instructors or commercial divers, should do everything they can to avoid a coronavirus infection, he wrote.
One particular problem in severe cases appears to be related to the treatment with oxygen. In his article, Hartig outlines how many patients who were given oxygen saw their blood levels initially improve, only to suffer lung failure a short time later, forcing a transfer to the intensive care unit. Many doctors have the feeling that oxygen causes a cascading domino effect, he said.
Sensitivity to higher oxygen levels after COVID-19 can become a problem for divers who are using nitrox. This mixture of nitrogen and oxygen, sometimes called enriched air, uses a higher share of oxygen than in regular air, typically 32% to 36% compared to the regular 21%, to reduce some of the side effects of breathing nitrogen under water.
Scientific studies confirming these limited clinical observations are not expected before next year.

Re: Divers face long-term health impact from COVID-19

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:54 pm
by Jeff Pack
I think I had covid back in early december. The symptoms at least confirm it.

I've been on a few deep and long tech dives since early Jan, no issues. But now I'm getting very light wheezing. First was after diving, humping my breather back to the car (long approach and walk back). This last time was at 215ft with over an hours deco left. Oddly the wheezing subsided around 60 feet, and nothing afterwards at all. Called DAN this morning, their concern is the wheezing indicates restricted airway, and could indicate gas not being released during ascent and deco. Seeing a pulmonary diving Dr wednesday and scheduling for a PFT sometime later.

So when some ass hat starts whining about this all being a hoax, or fake, or just like the flu, feel free to tell them I said to fuck off. I just hope it isnt the end of my diving.

Talking with DAN was interesting, because right now no one knows the longer term impacts.

Re: Divers face long-term health impact from COVID-19

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:34 pm
by Desert Diver
My son had something similar in early-mid December. You realize that the official word is that it did not exist in the US at that point.

Re: Divers face long-term health impact from COVID-19

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:44 pm
by Jeff Pack
Once I ever get an antibody test, I'll know

Re: Divers face long-term health impact from COVID-19

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:37 pm
by Desert Diver
Yeah, that is of interest to us too. I suspect it started a lot earlier and hit a lot more people than the experts think.

Re: Divers face long-term health impact from COVID-19

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:55 am
by RoxnDox
From what I have seen, the experts are among the people discovering these earlier cases. They are learning about this particular virus right along with everyone else. They were basing their thoughts and theories based on what they knew at the time, and have been revising them all the time as new data is uncovered.

Re: Divers face long-term health impact from COVID-19

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:53 pm
by lamont
You didn't have COVID in December in WA: ... 64321.html

Everyone who reports having had "COVID" in December typically reports the symptoms of bad influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia. And it was a bad season due to two waves of influenza, H3N2 and H1N1 (this is the first real return of the 2009 H1N1 virus). There is also metapneumovirus, RSV and seasonal coronavirus which can all cause secondary infections which progress to pneumonia or bronchitis. I got stupid and didn't my flu shots for a few years and then I think I caught the H1N1 early in Jan of 2018 and I nearly wound up in the ER, fever for 103F for 72 hours straight, tylenol barely took the edge off to sleep and nearly a bit delerious. Wiped me out for 3-4 weeks afterwards. Pretty certain that wasn't COVID though, people just forget how bad honest-to-goodness influenza can be.

And if you had a flu test, that doesn't rule out anything, not even influenza. None of the other viruses will be detected by the test. But even for influenza, while a positive on the test means that you almost certainly have the flu, a negative test is as bad as 50-50 or worse that you've got influenza but it is a false negative. See the bits on the sensitivity of the RIDT here: ... e_ridt.htm

Now immunologically, this is a virus which has a r0 of 3.0, a generation time of 5 days and a doubling time of 3 days in the absence of any distancing guidelines. So if you were sick in December, you can do the math and see what that predicts for the impact by the time we actually changed our behavior. Lets say you got sick on December 25th (my birthday), that means you contracted it about on December 19th (although asymptomatic periods are known to go up to 11 days, but 6 is typical -- with the peak of infectivity 2 days after contracting it).

There are 75 days between Dec 19 2019 and March 3 2020, which means starting with just 1 person, there would be 25 doubling times. That would lead to 33,554,432 infections by the time everything was closed down (which is well over the population of the state of Washington, and 167,772 deaths). But since multiples of you were infected and presumably you're claiming community spread multiply that result by however many people you think had it in late December and whoever gave it to you.

That result is, of course preposterous, so lets back it up and ask when the first 10 deaths would have occurred. The lowest reasonable IFR from meta analysis of reliable antibody studies is 0.5% (NYC is actually running at over 1% now due to their adjustments to counting excess deaths which has found that more than half of COVID fatalities are not tracked--it would be incorrect to use those numbers here though since I'm going to compare to officially tracked death statistics): ... 20089854v2

So that means once you hit 2,000 infected you get 10 deaths 3 weeks later. That is 2^11 or 11 doubling times or 33 days. So that means January 21, 2020 we should have been at 2,000 infected and on February 11, 2020 we should have had 10 deaths. Instead we had that on March 2, 2020 20 days later.

Now 20 days after our Dec 19th 2019 infection date is Jan 8th 2020, which is when we should have seen our first infection by this napkin math. In fact the presumed index case was Jan 15th, 2020. Not horrible for napkin math.

Does this rule out infections in Washington in December? No. There may have been people infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Washington state in December, but NECESSARILY those cases did not spread. How does this happen? This virus spreads via superspreading events. It only weakly spreads under normal circumstances and would not be pandemic without superspreading events.

From: ... -virus-all

"If k is really 0.1, then most chains of infection die out by themselves and SARS-CoV-2 needs to be introduced undetected into a new country at least four times to have an even chance of establishing itself, Kucharski says. If the Chinese epidemic was a big fire that sent sparks flying around the world, most of the sparks simply fizzled out."

So the well-publicized case in Santa Clara, CA in December is likely one of those sparks that "fizzled".

What is the upshot? You didn't have COVID in Dec. Maybe there was a handful of people in WA with COVID in Dec, but it wasn't you or that horrible flu that went around your office. The Seattle Flu Study results show that in January out of 3,000 samples of people suffering respiratory illness, none of those samples later tested positive for virus (so something like 0.03% chance or less any particularly person had it in Jan). If you had caught COVID from community spread it would have erupted and started killing much sooner.

You probably caught H1N1. Even if you tested negative for influenza, you probably caught H1N1. Otherwise you probably caught bronchitis or pneumonia from metapneumovirus, RSV or seasonal coronavirus.

Re: Divers face long-term health impact from COVID-19

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:31 am
by 60south
Just a friendly note to say that R0 is an imperfect estimate, at best, and the current estimates put it at around 2.2-2.7.