The National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins tells CBN News COVID-19 is a "diabolical disease because it's like nothing we've seen before."
At first, health experts saw the respiratory virus take aim at the lungs. However, six months later, they've learned the damage it can cause reaches far beyond the lungs.
Several medical papers document a wide range of non-respiratory problems caused by COVID-19. Neurologist Dale Bredesen, author of The End of Alzheimer's Program told CBN News in some studies up to 60 percent of people who've had the virus developed a neurological issue.
"Everything from stroke to loss of smell," he said, "Loss of taste, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is a reversible paralysis syndrome, to encephalitis that has been described, as well to various muscle pains, headaches."
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Often these issues go away, but some, such as stroke effects, can be permanent. Doctors fear there could be other long-term health problems.
"There's a lot of ongoing speculation about whether there will be post-COVID Alzheimer's, or post-COVID Parkinsonism or other phenomena, we just don't know yet," Dr. Bredesen said.
Doctors say it's clear COVID-19 often causes blood clotting, which is particularly concerning for young people who might not realize they're having a stroke and wait too long to get help. Every minute the brain is deprived of oxygen-rich blood, brain cells die.
To prevent stroke damage, doctors recommend getting medical attention within three hours of experiencing stroke symptoms, which include facial drooping, arm weakness, and difficulty speaking.