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Delirium – A person who is indicated by the Covid-19 virus will experience some symptoms on his body such as cough, flu, shortness of breath, lethargy, sore throat, to fatigue. In fact, some cases there is a person who is positive for Covid-19 characterized by problems in his lungs or pneumonia.
However, currently there are reported new symptoms that indicate that a person is infected with the Covid-19 virus. The new symptom in question is Delirium. These symptoms do not affect a person’s physique such as pain or tightness, but delirium is known to be related to the patient’s state of consciousness, cognitive, and psychic.
Well, is it true that someone who has Delirium is an early symptom of Covid-19 virus infection? Here’s the review.
Delirium at a Glance
Delirium is touted as a new symptom experienced by someone infected with Covid-19 where many of these symptoms are experienced by a number of elderly or elderly patients. According to one of the Specialists Sarah Academic Hospital Gadjah Mada University named dr. Fajar Maskuri, Sp.S., M.Sc revealed that Delirium is referred to as a central nervous system disorder in the form of cognitive impairment that causes confusion and reduced awareness of the environment. This condition is caused by brain dysfunction in some Covid-19 patients.
A person experiencing Delirium will feel difficulty when thinking, disorientation, restlessness, hallucinations, difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering, and difficulty sleeping. The signs of a person being exposed are very difficult to recognize. This is because the characteristics vary greatly.
According to dr. Dyah Novita Anggraini, the condition can be recognized from some of the picture below, among others:
- Impaired consciousness and attention to coma
- Cognitive impairment in the form of chaotic thought processes, inability to distinguish between reality and non-reality, disorientation, and low memory power
- Irregular sleep-wake cycle
- Emotional disorders and anxiety
Based on a finding from the Journal of Clinical Immunology and Immunotherapy shows that the development of Delirium may also depend on neurological symptoms. According to dr. Fajar Maskuri, Sp.S., M.Sc, neurological disorders can occur in about 42.2% of Covid-19 patients. Meanwhile, neurological disorders that are often experienced in Covid-19 patients include muscle pain as much as 44.8%, headache as much as 37.7%, delirium as much as 31.8%, and dizziness as much as 29.7%.
In general, 13-19% of Covid-19 patients in hospitals have the potential to experience delirium. This is because delirium conditions have dynamic properties. With such a percentage, in fact this has been the case for a long time, but the signs and symptoms of Delirium itself are often undetectable at the beginning due to the large number of patients under the influence of sedatives or other drugs that have a calming effect.
Causes of Delirium in Covid-19 patients
Many patients infected with Covid-19 are characterized by Delirium symptoms as the main symptoms, not common Symptoms of Covid-19 such as cough, flu, and others. The presence of delirium as a symptom of Covid-19 is actually due to a condition.
Delirium that occurs in patients can be caused by corona virus that has already attacked the brain. So far, researchers have only focused on studying respiratory system damage caused by coronavirus. Whereas after the virus infects the lungs, it directly attacks other parts such as the brain, kidneys, even all organs of the body.
Indirectly, the cause of delirium when infected with coronavirus is
- Virus attacks the brain
- The virus that attacks the lungs makes the body lack oxygen so that the brain will also lack oxygen. It certainly interferes with the performance of brain function. When the brain is disturbed, then the mental and cognitive are also disturbed
- Coronavirus makes the blood viscous. If the blood gets thicker, then the blood flow will be disrupted. This resulted in Covid-19 patients having a stroke.
Based on a finding from the Journal of Clinical Immunology and Immunotherapy, Delirium occurs triggered by three factors, namely:
When brain tissue is deprived of oxygen, it causes swelling of the nerves and ederma. This results in damage to the brain
Inflammation will occur when the immune system is overactive so that it attacks the organs. From there it can impair brain function.
- Neuronal Toxicity
This condition is considered a rare complication where the Covid-19 virus directly disrupts nerve function at the cell level, even before it reaches the lung cavity.
Someone Who’s Vulnerable
Delirium is vulnerable to Covid-19 patients who are elderly or 65 years old. Delirium easily attacks the elderly, especially those who have weak body conditions. However, this does not mean that young Covid-19 patients cannot be exposed to delirium. Young patients may develop delirium due to encephalopathy resulting from severe respiratory distress.
A study published in JAMA Network Open where this study showed that about 28% of elderly Covid-19 patients experience Delirium. A team of researchers led by Massachusetts General Hospital scientists also found that approximately 817% of Covid-19 patients aged 65 years and over experience this condition.
So that’s the information about delirium condition which is touted as a new symptom of Covid-19 virus infection in a person’s body. However, to date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States has not officially considered dilerium as a new symptom of Covid-19. However, many researchers expect the CDS to include delirium as an early symptom of coronavirus infection into its guidelines.