Coronavirus warning – why hallucinations could be the latest COVID-19 risk
Coronavirus is an infectious disease that has been confirmed in almost four million people across the world. Experts have now warned that some COVID-19 patients could develop delirium and other neurological symptoms.
The UK has officially passed the peak of the coronavirus infection.
But the government has urged the public to stay at home, to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus further.
Despite nearing the final stretch of the COVID-19 outbreak, hundreds of people are still dying in the UK everyday.
Scientists have now claimed that some coronavirus patients are at risk of developing neurological conditions.
Almost 40 percent of COVID-19 patients developed these symptoms in Wuhan, China – which is where the virus is believed to have originated – they warned.
Dr Halim Fadil, a neurologist and movement disorders specialist at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, told Heathline: “Many COVID-19 patients have been reported to have neurological symptoms, such as headache, confusion, seizures, and even strokes.”
Neurological symptoms are believed to have been a side-effect of some critical treatments for coronavirus.
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Ventilators are used to assist with breathing in intensive care units (ICUs), while long-term sedation can help to minimise pain and discomfort that comes with intubation.
But, the treatments can cause confusion, and an inability to focus.
Dr Fadil explained that people in ICUs can develop symptoms of an acute brain condition, known as ICU delirium.
“Delirium is an acute and fluctuating alteration of consciousness and cognition,” Dr Fadil said.
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ICU delirium symptoms include hallucinations, and dropping in and out of consciousness, added Neurologist Dr Kevin Conner.
“Patients with delirium may have auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations, disorientation of time and space, agitation, aggression, fluctuating level of consciousness, and impairment of sleep-wake cycle.”
Difficulty breathing can cause a build-up of carbon dioxide in the body, which may lead to “metabolic derangements, confusion, and somnolence,” he said.
Patients may also develop memory difficulties, and speech that’s disorganised and incoherent.
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But, if you require immediate medical treatment for coronavirus, a ventilator and sedation may be key to your recovery.
Meanwhile, some of the most common warning signs of COVID-19 include a high fever, and a dry cough.
If you think you may have coronavirus, you should self-isolate for at least 14 days.
It’s believed that the Prime Minister may reduce some of the lockdown measures on Sunday this week.
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