New data shows COVID-19 may affect functions of the brain

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s a rare symptom of COVID-19, but one that doctors are becoming more aware of as the coronavirus pandemic rages on throughout the world. After intense study, physicians are now warning about the virus’ possible impacts on certain functions of the brain.

Inside Memorial Health’s busy hospital, doctors there are learning, too. Associate Chief Medical Officer Doctor Stephen Thacker says they originally thought coronavirus had no affects on the brain.

But now, doctors are learning symptoms could include intense migraines, seizures and behavioral changes.

“I think the newest concern …. is the idea that my thoughts may be clouded and I may not act like myself I may not engage with others in my environment the way that I should,” explained Dr. Thacker.

Neurological symptoms — including seizures — are rare. But the Chatham County Coroner confirmed with WSAV that it happened to a 7-year-old boy who tested positive for COVID-19.

“So when we think of the symptoms that have been put forward for COVID-19, we need to include things that suggest that it does reach the spinal cord and may impact the brain,” said Dr. Thacker.

Dr. Thacker says it is also a possibility for the symptoms of the virus to last for weeks, or possibly months.

Dr. Thacker says “they have symptoms linger and those symptoms have been from achy muscles to really impressive fatigue.”

When it comes to coronavirus and children, Dr. Thacker says to lead by example by taking safety precautions, especially as doctors continue to learn more about the pandemic and its effects on people.

“We just want to remind everyone that our communities control what this look like,” he said.

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