As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, we are seeing it branch out from the lungs to other parts of the body and also infecting more children. Even after people think they have recovered from the virus, scientists are reporting long-term brain issues in the young and old.
When COVID-19 first struck the world and began spreading, one of the more positive findings indicated children were not greatly affected. Since then, however, that's another element of the virus that's changed.
Now, almost 340,000 children have tested positive, with nearly 100,000 of those cases coming in the last two weeks of July. So far, 15 children have died from COVID-19. While these figures are alarming, the CDC reports millions of children are infected with flu virus each year, thousands are hospitalized, and between 100 and 200 children die from the flu most years, although a spike of more than 350 died during the H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic 11 years ago.
Doctors worldwide are now reporting an increase in short- and long-term brain and nervous system issues for both young and old COVID-19 patients, Neurologist Dale Bredesen told CBN News.
"This has been a major issue," he said. "In fact, several papers have already appeared, documenting the various neurological syndromes that occur with COVID-19."
More than half of the patients in a new medical study complained of neurological problems three months after recovering from their initial infection. Cognitive issues like difficulty concentrating, extreme fatigue, confusion, headaches, depression, insomnia, muscle weakness and memory loss. It could be just the tip of the iceberg.
"There's a lot of ongoing speculation about whether there will be post-COVID Alzheimer's or post-COVID Parkinsonism or other phenomena," Dr. Bredesen said. "We just don't know yet."
This wouldn't be the first time a virus led to an uptick in neurological problems. Similar symptoms were associated with the H1N1 Swine Flu in 2009 and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.