COVID-19 Symptoms That Until Recently Doctors "Had No Clue About"

The ill effects of the novel coronavirus continue to be revealed to medical professionals.

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to rage across much of the United States, medical and public health experts continue to learn more about the potentially deadly contagion. It is, after all, a novel coronavirus that is behind this global pandemic, and as such, new data is continually revealing itself to the science community. As such, we now know of a number of significant side effects that come with COVID-19 of which we were unaware in Spring.

Each new day comes with new information on how to best treat COVID-19 for scientists and doctors, which means a sometimes confused public is reacting to new information in real-time. "Things we knew about in April and May, we had no clue about back in March. And now we are learning things in June and July that two months ago we had no clue about," Director of Neurocritical Care for Mercy Toledo, Sohel Ahmed, MD, recently told Toledo's WTOL.  Following are some of the previously unknown side effects of COVID-19, many of which affect the nervous system and the patient's brain:


Dr. Ahmed revealed that "patients do develop a condition that's usually temporary, where there's an acute confusion state and this can last a few days, to a few weeks, to a few months." This confusion, or delirium, is among the more common side effect and particularly common with patients where were at one point considered critically ill.


cropped shot of an unrecognizable man holding his chest in pain while sitting on the bed at home

Doctors in New York experienced a high volume of particularly young coronavirus patients with blood clots. Terry Neill, MD, medical director of Ascension Sacred Heart's comprehensive stroke center in Florida, says the inflammation brought on by COVID-19 is causing increased clotting and therefore more strokes, in an interview with WEAR-TV.

Nerve damage

Man with hand numbness

The coronavirus does not just target a patient's respiratory system or brain, but it can also affect the whole nervous system — the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. As a result, there is growing evidence of nerve damage as a significant side effect in patients testing positive for COVID-19, according to WebMD.

Inflammation of the brain

brain scan photos with doctor looking at them

Recent studies have shown that severe brain issues have occurred in a small number of cases of COVID-19. "What it comes down to is a widespread inflammation in the brain," Dr. Ahmed said. "And those patients could have serious complications because this could be a fatal condition."

Long term loss of taste and smell

Woman trying to smell a cup of coffee

One of the earliest side effects of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 was a distinct loss of their sense of taste and smell. But as months have passed, there are a number of notable cases of those who have ostensibly recovered from the coronavirus who still haven't regained these innate abilities. NBA star Rudy Gobert is among the most notable.

And even without COVID symptoms, you can still infect this many people, according to the CDC.

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