By most accounts, the SARS-Cov-2 virus impacts the respiratory system the most aggressively.
After the incubation process is complete, infected individuals begin to develop symptoms that are indicative of increased strain applied to the lungs. Inflammation and acute respiratory syndrome are common outcomes in critical cases, while a persistent dry cough, labored breathing, and fatigue accompanies the largest majority of infections irrespective of severity.
Although varying respiratory features remain consistent across cohort analysis, a subset of neurological characteristics associated with COVID-19 is becoming more and more pronounced.
The first neuropathies linked to the disease were documented among a small data set in Wuhan, China. Early patients occasioned stroke-like symptoms, including numbness and a tingling sensation alongside a range of olfactory abnormalities.
Reports of similar symptoms gradually made their way to the US until a large enough sample was produced to link shared experiences. Sadly, as is the case with any novel viral development, the larger the affected population the greater the likelihood of lethal scenarios.
“The virus seems to be causing increased clotting in the large arteries, leading to severe stroke,” Dr. Thomas Oxley, a neurosurgeon at a Mount Sinai Health System in New York, said in a media release.
More alarming than the presence of potentially fatal neurological symptoms in COVID-19 patients was the demographic that seemed to be evidencing them with the most frequency.
All of the subjects who experienced artery damage were under the age of 50 and experienced mild cases of COVID-19 or were completely asymptomatic. None of these correlates had been previously equated with severe manifestations of coronavirus infection.
In fact, all of the preceding literature identified older patients with preexisting conditions as the most vulnerable population. Moreover, there isn’t a strong relationship connecting younger communities with brain vessel strokes independent of our latest pandemic.
“Our report shows a seven-fold increase in incidence of sudden stroke in young patients during the past two weeks. Most of these patients have no past medical history and were at home with either mild symptoms (or in two cases, no symptoms) of COVID,” Oxley continued.
“All tested positive. Two of them delayed calling an ambulance.”
Of the patients suffering from COVID-19 who developed strokes at The NYC Mount Sinai location only one has been released. One patient has died, while the others are currently spread between intensive care units, stroke units, and rehabilitation centers.
“The average person who has a large vessel stroke is severely impaired. It means it is a bigger clot. It includes one of the largest arteries in the brain, “ Oxley explained. “Up until now, people have been advised to only call for an ambulance with shortness of breath or high fever.”
Every possible fatal consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic has to be taken as an absolute once relevant cases reach a statistical threshold.
The problem is—while medical facilities remain overwhelmed professionals have directed the public to exercise extensive forethought before seeking intervention. This bit of advice likely saved a lot of lives and prevented a lot of transmissions but now we have to consider a looming critical effect of COVID-19 that appears in patients with no instructive precursors.
Thankfully there are virtual resources operating 24/7 to help us make sense of a schizophrenic series of impairments.
Whether you’re unsure if the symptoms you are experiencing warrant hospitalization or merely supportive care, are interested in donating antibodies to convalescent plasma research/funds to citizens disproportionately affected economically, socially, or mentally, there is an organization out there established to realize your intentions.