Published: 17th July 2021
Post-COVID cases on the rise in Delhi; neuro hospitals taking in 20-25 patients weekly
Worryingly, experts are saying that post-COVID complications have been obsereved in asymptomatic patients as well, and that there have been multiple deaths due to post-COVID illnesses
Neuro depts of Delhi private hospitals witnessing surge in cases of post-COVID complications
In post-COVID scenario, common neurological problems such as fatigue, brain fogging, critical illness neuromayopathy and post-COVID stroke were seen in several individuals in the national capital. Neurology departments in some private hospitals in Delhi are experiencing a surge in post-COVID-19 cases and seeing 20 to 25 patients weekly with such problems. Common manifestations are a state of confusion, drowsiness, vomiting, and constant anxiety. Among these patients, most are young to middle-aged people.
Neuro experts stated that they are seeing patients with brain fogging even after two months of testing positive and cases of critical illness neuropathy have been reported after six to eight weeks. Dr Vinit Suri, Senior Consultant, Neurosciences, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals told ANI that in brain fogging, patients experience mild headaches, low moods, difficulty in thinking, concentrating or remembering.
"The critical illness neuromyopathy is observed in patients who have been on ventilators and administered steroids, multiple muscle relaxants and antibiotics. It causes the weakening of all four limbs and it takes six to eight weeks for such patients to get back to normal. In post-COVID stroke, a patient may have clotting or bleeding inside the brain," said the doctor.
In post-COVID outbreaks, several patients are experiencing various fungal infections such as mucormycosis, candida other than most common pain, breathing difficulties, hyperlipidemia, malaise and fatigue, and hypertension.
Dr Madhukar Bharadwaj, Senior Consultant-Neurology, Aakash Healthcare said, "In the past two weeks, we have received 15-20 cases with neurological conditions after the patients recovered from COVID. The most common condition we have seen is the acute headache and infection in the brain, known as post-COVID encephalopathy. The other conditions are Guillain-Barre syndrome and muscle weakness."
"Guillain-Barre syndrome is a condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves. It may be triggered by an acute bacterial or viral infection. Symptoms start as weakness and tingling in the feet and legs that spread to the upper body. Paralysis can occur," the neurology expert said.
Dr Bharadwaj said, "Asymptomatic patients are experiencing headaches after one month as such conditions cannot be diagnosed through the tests. It gets difficult for us to look for the root cause of headaches in such patients."
The doctor stated that currently, they are treating these conditions with steroids as it can lead to other major neurological disorders if not treated on time.
"We are administering Methyl Pedicinole injections in high doses for three-five days. The headaches caused are migrainous in character and take the longest to recover. We need to administer high doses to treat headaches while the routine patients require double dosages."
On an average, Max Hospital is seeing at least 15 patients per week in post-COVID neurological complications cases in less than 50 years of age. Dr J D Mukherji, Head of Neurology Department, Max Healthcare said, "After recovery from COVID-19, patients are showing three/four symptoms such as lost in smell and taste, brian fog, Guillain-Barre syndrome, encephalitis and worsening of a previous neurological syndrome such as Parkinsons, or epilepsy."
Dr Mukerji said, "I see one to two patients with post-COVID complications per day. So far seen I have seen 15 cases of neuro complications of which eight cases were of Guillain-Barre syndrome and many cases of facial palsy."
With steroids being used to cure mucormycosis, which invades the brain, complications are also seen, the doctor said. Dr Mukerji said neurological problems are affecting asymptomatic people too. One may be cured of COVID but post-COVID complications take much longer to cure and we have seen people dying due to post-COVID illnesses, said the doctor.
Patients with problem of brain fogging experience problems in taking decisions, doing things repetitively and face difficulty in doing daily activities. Along with this, mental health services have experienced an upsurge in consultations regarding anxiety disorders, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Earlier, The Lancet study revealed that around 33 per cent of post-COVID patients have neuropsychiatric ailments which are confusion, loss of taste, inability to focus smell and lack of concentration.