New coronavirus symptom to look for as scientists warn some patients to develop psychosis

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From a high fever to a dry cough, coronavirus is known to be associated with a series of unpleasant symptoms.

Now a new study has highlighted another lesser-known symptom – psychosis.

Researchers from Orygen and La Trobe University in Melbourne have warned that the coronavirus causes psychotic episodes in some patients.

Dr. Ellie Brown, lead co-author of the study, said, “COVID-19 is a very stressful experience for everyone, especially those with complex mental health needs.

“We know that psychosis and the first episodes of psychosis are usually triggered by significant psychosocial stresses. In the context of COVID-19, this could include the stress of isolation and potentially having to stay in difficult family situations. “

In the study, the team looked at research on viruses such as MERS and SARS, to see if there was a link on how these viruses could affect people with psychosis.



In general, 3 main symptoms are associated with a psychotic episode: hallucinations, delusions, confused and disturbed thoughts (stock image)

The results suggest that some patients with coronavirus may experience psychotic symptoms, such as hearing voices.

Professor Richard Gray, the study’s co-author, said: “It is difficult to maintain infection control procedures when people are psychotic.

“To prevent them from becoming potential transmitters of the virus, clinicians and service providers can benefit from specific infection control tips to reduce the risk of transmission.”

While mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are already focusing on the pandemic, the researchers hope their results will spark new research into more serious mental health issues like psychosis.


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Coronavirus prevention

Professor Gray added, “This is a group that is probably going to need more support, with isolation, physical distance, hand washing, etc., and the clinicians may be the ones who have to think and work to help this vulnerable population.

According to the NHS, people with psychosis tend to have three main symptoms.

He explained, “A person who develops psychosis will have their own unique set of symptoms and experiences, depending on their particular situation.

“But in general, 3 main symptoms are associated with a psychotic episode: hallucinations, delusions, confused and disturbed thoughts. “

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