Home / Canada / Doctors investigate rare COVID-19 symptoms in effort to move quickly from anecdotes to science

Doctors investigate rare COVID-19 symptoms in effort to move quickly from anecdotes to science

Dry cough, fever and problem respiration are the most typical symptoms of COVID-19, however specialists are beginning to study extra about much less widespread potential symptoms comparable to lack of one’s sense of scent, disorientation and even seizures.

Some docs are making an attempt to perceive how widespread these symptoms are in order to help with diagnosing sufferers.

Dr. Sherry Chou, a Canadian neurologist on the University of Pittsburgh Medical School with coaching in crucial care and strokes, stated it is vital to know whether or not a small portion of sufferers with COVID-19 current with neurological symptoms fairly than fever or cough.

“We need to figure that out as quickly as we can because we need to know to screen those patients for COVID-19,” Chou stated.

Effective screening is a crucial method to sluggish the unfold of the virus, which has killed greater than 420 Canadians

Patients with neurological symptoms would additionally require totally different remedy than these with respiratory symptoms, Chou stated.

What a crew of specialists is searching for

To study extra, Chou is main a crew of investigators from the Neurocritical Care Society, a global group of health-care suppliers primarily based in Chicago whose aim is to enhance outcomes for sufferers with life-threatening mind and spinal wire accidents.

The specialists warning the analysis is at an early, speculation stage they usually nonetheless want to discover out particularly how the pandemic virus impacts the neurological system, or whether or not, for instance, such symptoms merely consequence from low oxygen ranges in the blood.

Deborah Copaken, an creator in New York, has been sick with COVID-19 since March 18. Her foremost symptom will not be having the ability to take a deep breath. She stated she’s exhausted and was prescribed a nebulizer and inhaler to assist together with her respiration.

Then, on March 23, Copaken determined to reorganize her spice rack.

“I started taking the spices out of their old containers and putting them in new containers and I realized I had to label the containers quickly because I couldn’t smell anything,” Copaken recalled in an interview. “I couldn’t differentiate between, say, basil and herbs de Provence. All the green spices smell the same.”

Her husband and youngest son had been additionally contaminated. Their symptoms had been a bit totally different.

Copaken stated her husband endured three days of intense fever and was unable to get away from bed. He additionally had diarrhea — one other of the much less widespread symptoms which have caught the eye of researchers.

Her 13-year-old son misplaced his senses of style and scent and ate lower than regular for a number of days however was in any other case tremendous, she stated.

WATCH | B.C. affected person with COVID-19 describes her respiration troubles:

B.C. resident Erin Leigh, 38, is recovering from the novel coronavirus in hospital. She instructed CBC News she had by no means skilled an sickness like COVID-19. 7:00

In one other case, Kym Murphy of New Brunswick skilled a painful headache and fatigue.

“I was shocked that it came back positive,” Murphy stated of her COVID-19 take a look at in Saint John. “I didn’t have the fever. I didn’t have the shortness of breath. I didn’t have the coughing, but I just felt that there was something not right.”

In Italy, the place there have been greater than 135,00zero instances, physicians arrange separate models to deal with sufferers with COVID-19 who even have neurological symptoms that resemble a sort of encephalitis, which is an irritation of the mind that’s extra widespread as a rare complication of influenza or flu in youngsters.

Encephalitis can have many underlying causes comparable to viral or bacterial infections. 

Chou cautioned it’s too quickly to touch upon what neurologists are seeing with COVID-19 as a result of the numbers are so small.

CT scan for stroke 

Dr. Erin O’Connor is an emergency room doctor at Toronto General Hospital, the place she stated they’re seeing some suspected COVID-19 sufferers who have respiratory symptoms in addition to nausea and different abdomen discomfort and problem with their senses of scent and style.

WATCH | Ontario man describes his hospitalization and restoration:

The sight of his spouse after his expertise in hospital gave Rene Segura ‘extra of a spark to proceed.’ 3:55

“It seems to be more of a loss of sense of smell without having the runny nose and the blocked nose at the same time,” O’Connor stated. 

She stated there are anecdotes circulating in the medical neighborhood about how stroke-like symptoms is also a sign of COVID-19 as properly.

“All of our patients who present with stroke symptoms we’re testing and we’re actually doing … CT scans on their test as well to look for signs of COVID infections,” O’Connor stated.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists emergency warning indicators related to extreme instances of COVID-19 that warrant speedy medical consideration. They embrace:

The company cautioned the checklist will not be all inclusive and persons are suggested to seek the advice of a health-care supplier for some other symptoms which might be extreme or regarding.

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