WUHAN / SAN FRANCISCO (dpa-AFX) – Infection with the coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 can not only manifest itself with fever, cough and breathing difficulties, but also cause neurological symptoms. This is the result of a study by Chinese scientists with patients in Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, from which the virus spread worldwide. As the doctors report in the journal “JAMA Neurology”, a good third of the 214 patients they examined showed signs that the virus had damaged the nervous system. The most common symptoms included dizziness and headache, as well as olfactory and taste disorders.
Reports of corona patients losing their sense of smell and taste, at least temporarily, had accumulated in the past few days. These symptoms indicated that the brain was involved, said infectiologist Bernd Salzberger from the Regensburg University Hospital. “So far, however, there have been very few examinations of the brain of corona patients. We are still in the dark.”
Sars and also Mers – also diseases caused by a coronavirus – are known to cause damage to the nervous system. For both infections it has been experimentally proven that the virus can enter the brain via the olfactory nerves in the nasal cavity.
In the case of Covid-19, it is now being discussed whether respiratory arrest could also be the result of neurological damage – for example, inflammation of the brain stem, where the control for the cardiovascular system and the respiratory tract is also located.
The authors of the study consider it particularly important that doctors consider a Covid 19 infection in patients with corresponding neurological symptoms “in order to avoid a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis and to prevent further transmission” ./ fm / DP / pc