As of now official Covid19 stats record just three basic metrics: positive cases, recoveries and deaths. Maybe being missed is an additional metric that may help us gain a better idea of the true effect of the pandemic: morbidity.
Morbidity in medicine measures complications that arise because of a virus or a disease. And not just while the infection is active but for years after. It’s basically the effects an illness has on a human body besides death. Data suggests Covid19 may be causing long term health issues for those it infects.
According to reports there is evidence that Covid19 patients can have long-lasting symptoms that don’t end when the infection has stopped. These can include headaches and severe fatigue, as well as long term effects on the immune system and lungs.
Just this week there were reports that researchers in the UK discovered a small number of recovering Covid19 patients develop “mild to potentially fatal brain disorders” with complications ranging from “brain inflammation and delirium to nerve damage and stroke” they say.
Metrics already used in health professions that measure morbidity include the Quality-Adjusted Life Year (QALY) and the related Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY).
Both take into account, broadly speaking, how much a disease affects an individual’s ability to perform their daily routine.
Beginning to measure such stats as they relate to Covid19 may help us better understand the true nature of the virus.