The new symptoms of COVID-19 experienced by young people

When experts describe SARS-CoV-2 as a sophisticated pathogen, they’re primarily commenting on its ability to defy previously conducted analysis. Though devastating, the SARS epidemic of the early oughts and the MERS outbreaks that followed 10 years later shared key characteristics with one another. Charesterics that proved to be important to diagnosis. 

Being a mutation, the coronavirus staffing our current pandemic has demonstrated ill-defined symptomatology among populations.

Young carriers (initially thought to be safe from severe manifestations of COVID-19) more commonly experience atypical prodromes of the respiratory disease like neuropathies (shaking, loss of smell, and taste) while less often experiencing the features said to be instructive of illness, like fever for instance.

Early data sets published after the coronavirus penetrated the US, concluded that only a third of those with COVID-19 develop neurological symptoms. The latest indicator found disproportionately in young people is migraines.

Headaches and migraines are both symptoms identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as common but a swarm of patients under the age of 40 have been reporting throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation on one side of their head to the exclusion of other critical symptoms.  Nausea, sensitivity to light, and lethargy may accompany either of the symptoms above.

“Fever proved to be a common symptom among older patients, most younger,” Nashville Health Systems said in a media release.   “Phones [were] ringing off the hook with younger COVID-19 patients and debilitating migraines, something we haven’t found a medication that works for yet.”

It is still unknown if the headaches and migraines that accompany coronavirus transmission themselves express unique pathologies. However, the cause is likely inflammation.

SARS-CoV-2 enters the nervous system via nerve endings, effectively damaging them and inflaming important blood vessels around the brain as a result. SIlent Hypoxia, (another common COVID-19 prodrome found in young patients) subtly limits the amount of oxygen reaching the bloodstream. Restricted oxygen and blood flow are potential correlates of prolonged migraines.

Carriers of all ages are most contagious before the onset of symptoms. Patients with COVID-19 showcase a plurality of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe. On balance, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

According to CDC People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Young populations seem to e engaging in shutdown easing the most, which might explain the surge in hospitalizations among the demographic.

As is the case with most of the symptoms linked to COVID-19, the treatment for migraines is only supportive.

Migraines caused by the illness may be reported to be more intense and last longer than generic migraines, but they still respond about the same to over the counter care.

“In severe cases, it can cause the brain to swell. Once a virus has spread to the brain, it is in a protected region and difficult for the body to remove it. A dramatic worsening of a headache should trigger a medical visit,” The National Headache Foundation explained. “The treatment of migraine in association with COVID is likely not different from attacks with other triggers. Early on there were concerns over the safety of ibuprofen in those with COVID. However, this concern does not appear to be justified. Stress reduction techniques are particularly important. Most providers and patients are unhappy that most of the care is through “virtual” visits. The positive news is that the most important feature of a headache diagnosis is the description of attacks, including frequency and severity, and most cases can be managed with non-face-to-face visits. However, if headache is severe or progressive, patients should be seen in person by their provider.”