Coronavirus symptoms update: Signs that may occur when COVID-19 attacks the nervous system

Coronavirus symptoms include a loss of smell or taste. Now researchers think there could be two other signs of the disease. What are they?

A research team conducted a six-week, prospective, cross-sectional telephone questionnaire inquiry.

The researchers examined characteristics and symptoms of 114 patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 over that time period.

From the data collected, the scientists looked at the severity of the loss of smell or taste, nasal obstruction, excessive mucus production, fever, cough and shortness of breath.


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Then the researchers noted as surprising finding: 47.4 percent of participants reported at least several days of depressed mood per week.

Additionally, nearly a fifth of subjects reported a depressed mood every day.

Then there were people who reported feeling anxious – 44.7 percent stated they were suffering from mild anxiety, and 10.5 percent reported severe anxiety.

The study co-author, Ahmad Sedaghat, noted that signs of anxiety and depression would understandably be linked to severe symptoms of COVID-19, such as shortness of breath.

However, Sedaghat from the University of Cincinnati, USA, reported: “None of these symptoms that portended morbidity or mortality was associated with how depressed or anxious these patients were.”

He continued: “The unexpected finding that the potentially least worrisome symptoms of COVID-19 may be causing the greatest degree of psychological distress could potentially tell us something about the disease.”

Sedaghat went on to suggest that “psychological distress (depressed mood or anxiety) may reflect the penetration of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, into the central nervous system”.

The research team concluded that this finding “opens up doors for future investigations to look art how the virus may interact with the central nervous system”.

What’s anxiety?

The mental health charity Mind explains anixety is “what we feel when we’re worried, tense or afraid”.

This sense of unease is particularly strong when thinking about things that are about to happen or could happen in the future.

Anxious thoughts, feelings and physical sensations can all be interlinked.

Most people feel anxious throughout their life – it’s a natural human response to a threat.


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However, anxiety can become a mental health issue if it impacts your ability to live your life as fully as you want to.

Signs of an anxiety problem include your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation.

Worries may feel very distressing or hard to control, and you may also start to avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious.

What’s depression?

Mind refers to derpression as a “low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life”.

Mild depression is classified as being in “low spirits” that doesn’t stop you from leading your normal life. Things may just seem harder to do and seem less worthwhile.

At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening as it can make you feel suicidal.

Although people do feel blue now and again, if the feelings persist for a couple of weeks, or keeping coming back for a few days at a time, it may be worth looking into it more.

Depending on the severity of symptoms, and its impact on everyday life, treatment can be tailored to you.

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