December 17, 2021
HASSELT, Belgium — COVID-19 could lead to a person’s muscles swelling in size, according to new study of critically ill patients. Researchers in Belgium discovered that some individuals with a severe case of the virus saw their muscle fibers balloon by over 60 percent while in the hospital.
Scientists believe the body’s immune response damages mitochondria, the powerplants of cells, leading to a loss of energy that builds up water — causing muscles to swell. The phenomenon stunned the Belgian team, since muscle shrinkage is a common complication among people spending several days in an intensive care unit.