Sports and COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirummary of a scientific article (review) from the German Journal of Sports Medicine (DZSM) with link to the original article in English and download option as PDF.
This article is part of our focus topic "COVID-19: Info and recommendations". You can find the link to the overview of all articles of the topic at the end of the text or by entering the search term #Covid-19 in the search field of this website.
Design of the work
In this narrative review, we answer the following five questions about SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the COVID-19 infectious disease it causes, and exercise:
1) What do we know about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease? 2) What do we know about COVID-19 disease?. Is it affected by physical exercise?
3) How did the COVID-19 pandemic unfold, what was the role of exercise, and what is the future of coronavirus?
4) How does the immune system respond to SARS-CoV-2 and can we prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection through physical training and otherwise?
5) How should we exercise during the COVID 19 pandemic, and how can we safely return to normal exercise and sports after the pandemic peaks??
Results and discussion
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was first transmitted from animals to humans in 2019, and subsequently from humans to humans. SARS-CoV-2 infections occur primarily via droplets generated during coughing, sneezing, and talking, by touching SARS-CoV-2 contaminated surfaces (z. B. Sports equipment such as dumbbells) and probably also via aerosol (minute liquid particles of ≤5 μm diameter). According to current estimates, almost half of new infections are caused by people without specific symptoms of the disease. Therefore, all contacts in sports or other situations should be treated as potential carriers of infection.
SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19 infectious disease, which produces a variable clinical picture including severe pneumonia resulting in death from multiple organ failure. Elderly people over 65 years of age with cardiovascular, respiratory, and/or metabolic pre-existing conditions are particularly at risk. Although younger male and female athletes have a low risk of severe COVID-19 progression, there are exceptions who have received intensive medical treatment. In retrospect, sporting events, such as the soccer match between Atalanta Bergamo and Valencia FC, have accelerated the spread of SARS-CoV-2 regionally and internationally. Future major sporting events, such as. B. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, have been postponed due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Careful hygiene, such as thorough hand washing, "social distancing" (keeping greater distances from others, especially during intense activities), and wearing face masks (mouth-nose protection) are important to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections.
While there are no data on the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in athletically active individuals compared with inactive individuals, an athletically active lifestyle may reduce the severity of disease progression as well as days of illness in other infectious diseases. There is no evidence that supplementation of vitamin C, D, or other micro- or macronutrients can reduce the incidence of respiratory infections. Interventions such as "lockdowns" and "home offices" have differentially altered sports and physical activity behaviors among adults, competitive athletes, and the elderly. Doping controls were no longer carried out during the pandemic. The return to the usual sport and exercise culture should be gradual, while maintaining protection against infection, in order to avoid new foci of infection during sport.
Conclusion for practice
1) Because nearly 50% of COVID-19 infections may occur through individuals without symptoms, athletes and sportswomen should treat other individuals as possible SARS-CoV-2 carriers.
2) SARS-CoV-2 infections are avoided primarily via careful hygiene such as hand washing, physical/social distancing, and face masks (mouth-nose protection). There is no evidence that physical training or supplementation of vitamins such as C or D or other agents reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
3) Some mass sporting events have been "catalysts" for the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Based on this experience, it appears difficult to conduct large-scale international sporting events with large crowds at an acceptable risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection prior to vaccine development. Possible interim solutions are sporting events without spectators or a quarantine for sportsmen, sportswomen, officials and spectators.