CAPE TOWN – Breathing problems may the most common sign of a Covid-19 infection, but the lack of oxygen and widespread inflammation can also cause severe brain damage.
Some patients who have spent weeks in hospitals breathing through ventilator machines took to social media to share how the virus has affected them mentally.
Following her discharge from hospital, after being treated for symptoms of Covid-19, Carmen Lynne said ever since she returned home after being oxygen dependent for six days, she has become forgetful.
“I was hospitalized for 13 days and oxygen-dependent for six days, after my discharge two months ago, I was fine until I started noticing that I’m forgetful, I wasn’t forgetful before. I was shocked and I slowly started recording these events. I will read something 3 or 4 times simply because I don’t understand what I’m reading. I read up about it and they say that sometimes, a hospital stay is traumatic and we lose some memory,” wrote Lynne on the Facebook group #SACoronaVirus Survivor Stories.
Lesley-Ann Booysen Wessels, who spent three weeks in the hospital said she also experienced the same symptoms as Lynne.
“I was in the hospital for three weeks. The first week and a half there I booked myself out which I can remember here and there but the second time I went I have no recollection of anything so it’s really got something to do with Covid 19.”
Meanwhile, a British scientific study has revealed that not only does Covid-19 damage the lungs, heart and kidneys, it can also cause severe brain damage – with patients suffering from neurological conditions including paranoia and hallucinations.
This report reinforced the growing scientific consensus about the severe brain damage the coronavirus can cause.
“In fact, there is a significant percentage of Covid-19 patients whose only symptom is confusion, they don’t have a cough or fatigue. We are facing a secondary pandemic of neurological disease,” said Robert Stevens, associate professor of anaesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
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