COVID is largely thought of as an illness that primarily affects your lungs, with its impact on the brain being little known.
But in addition to causing obvious physical symptoms, the virus can also cause neurological symptoms – and these tend to last longer.
Traditionally a respiratory illness, doctors were surprised when people started complaining of headaches, delirium, brain fog, and loss of smell or taste at the start of the pandemic.
And in more severe cases, things like strokes and blockages in blood vessels in the brain were reported early on.
An extremely positive series of studies shows that Omicron IS is milder than other strains, with the first official UK report showing a 50 to 70 per cent lower risk of hospitalization compared to Delta.
Health officials have repeatedly said the Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of weathering the pandemic.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping to get vital additional vaccines in the UK’s arms to avoid the need for any new restrictions.
According to Professor James Goodwin, 1/5 of Covid patients may have a cerebrovascular accident.
He explained on the Telegraph this is because the infection puts our immune system into overdrive, and in some people with very large viral loads it can cause an uncontrolled response.
This is the release of large amounts of inflammatory molecules – called a cytokine storm – to the area of infection.
It mainly affects the lungs, and can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome, failure, and sometimes death.
But it’s not just the lungs that are affected by an overactive immune system – other organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys can be damaged as a result. low oxygen, inflammation and blood clotting.
The brain can also be affected by this, and get injured in the body’s attempt to fight the virus.
Professor Goodwin said doctors now know that Covid enters the brain through the tightly sealed blood vessels that surround the organ.
The spikes in the virus attach to the receptors, multiply inside them, and then migrate into the brain.
When the body is in panic mode, the inflammatory response tries to defeat the virus by disrupting blood vessels, causing damage and also affecting the immune system.
7 neurological events caused by Covid:
- Brain fog
- Blood clots
- Loss of sense of smell
After recovery, some people may experience severe neurological, behavioral or mental disturbances, due to (usually temporary) scars left in the brain.
These can include hallucinations and hearing sounds that aren’t there, as the brain reconfigures itself after a virus.
And you don’t need to be hit hard with mild neurological problems or brain fog while recovering from Covid.
In fact Brain fog is probably a fairly common feeling among people who return to the world after an illness, even with the lighter Omicron.
It’s simply because the virus has entered – or attempted to invade – your brain and the damage it does to cells in the ensuing battle.
But this doesn’t need to be a scary read, as research shows cells repair quickly and efficiently, as well as have a pretty good capacity for recovery.
It can mean just a few days, weeks, or months in some unfortunate cases, feeling not quite as sharp as it should be – when your brain is active again.
However, if you or a loved one begins to behave abnormally or hallucinate, seek medical help as soon as possible.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8213930/covid-affects-the-brain/ I’m a doctor and here are 7 ways Covid affects your BRAIN