Through a recent Press Release, Sir Gangaram Hospital informed about the first report of five cases of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) related Rectal Bleeding in Covid-19 immunocompetent patients.
According to Professor Anil Arora, Chairman, Institute of Liver Gastroenterology and Pancreaticobaliary Sciences, Sir Gangaram Hospital, “During second wave of the Covid-19, in April-May 2021 we have seen five cases of CMV infection in otherwise immunocompetent patients with Covid-19. These patients presented with pain abdomen and bleeding stools. These patients presented with a mean of 20 to 30 days after the diagnosis of Covid-19. None of them had other predisposing immunosuppressed states accounting for this viral infection.”
The press release mentioned that Covid infection itself and the medicines used for its treatment (steroids) do supre4ss the immunity of patients and make them susceptible for uncommon infections with varies presentations. One such opportunistic infection is CMV virus. CMV exists in 80 to 90 % of the Indian population in asymptomatic form as our immunity is strong enough t\o make it clinically asymptomatic. Clinical presentation with symptoms secondary to CMV is usually seen in patients whose immunity is compromised.
But in our series all patients presented with low lymphocyte count (6-10% as against a normal of 20 to 40%) indicating covid induced suppression of immunity predisposing them to symptomatic reactivation of CMV infection, the press release said.