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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Can Covid-19 cause decreased concentration?

18 July 2022 - 07:00
Many people reported experiencing a loss of concentration after recovery from Covid-19 infection. File photo.
Many people reported experiencing a loss of concentration after recovery from Covid-19 infection. File photo.
Image: 123rf.com

A recent study has found a loss of concentration and memory impairment are among the most prevalent symptoms six months after infection with Covid-19.

The study, published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology international medical journal, looked at the neurological symptoms that persisted in patients after they had recovered from mostly mild or moderate Covid-19 infection.

It said after their recovery, most patients reported fatigue (89.3%) and headaches (80.4%) as the most common symptoms.

At the six month follow-up, memory impairment (68.8%) and decreased concentration (61.5%) were the most prevalent, though on average all symptoms showed a reduction in reported severity score at the follow-up.”

The World Health Organisation  said lack of concentration or “brain fog” is one of the symptoms of “long Covid-19”.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), patients who become ill with Covid-19 may suffer damage to their lungs, heart and brain. 

It said the causes for symptoms may include bacterial pneumonia, tuberculosis and worsening symptoms relating to underlying comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension.

The NICD said there is no way to test patients directly for long Covid-19, and encouraged those with persistent symptoms to be examined by a healthcare professional.

Research published in scientific reports found that the most common symptoms of long Covid-19 include headaches (22%), runny or stuffy nose (19%), abdominal discomfort (18%), fatigue (17%) and diarrhoea (13%).

“Covid-19 long-haulers are more likely to experience hair loss, headache and sore throat at the time of infection compared to their counterparts whose symptoms reduce more quickly. Also, those who are obese are at higher risk of experiencing long Covid-19.”

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