Dr Avery Hinds, technical director of the Epidemiology Division of the Ministry of Health, has said people in Trinidad and Tobago, particularly the male population, are not doing regular health check-ups.
Hinds was speaking at the ministry’s virtual press conference on Monday.
Recovered covid19 patient Brent Teixeira shared his experience of the covid19 virus after having contracted it in October last year.
Hinds said Teixeira’s experience raises the important issue of regular check-ups. He urged the population to ensure they are screened regularly, as this can help in the early detection of pre-existing conditions, which are important to know about when facing a covid19 diagnosis.
He said, as in Teixeira’s case, the virus can cause long-term side effects in multiple organ systems. “Teixeira had different organ system issues,” he said. Teixeira said he had, among other things, problems with his pancreas. Hinds said the pancreas is responsible for several functions, including helping to keep blood sugar levels in check.
He said the virus can also cause disruptions in lung and liver function.
“The liver is relatively resilient, but you may find liver tests are a bit deranged (after covid19). There may be some damage to the liver tissue even if it does not affect the overall function of the liver. It’s the same with the kidneys.”
He said it is important to examine how these organs are functioning before an illness like covid19.