Covid: What is this new side effect that can occur several months after infection?

A new side effect linked to Covid infection has been identified by scientists who are calling on doctors to be extremely vigilant.

If the fact is rare, some side effects of Covid can also occur several months after infection. A team of Oxford scientists has just identified a new one that affects some patients up to six months after contracting Covid-19.

According to a study published in the November 16, 2022 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, Covid-19 infection may cause an increased risk of developing convulsions or having epileptic seizures within six months of infection.

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Higher risk in children

This risk is more noticeable in children than in adults, also notes Professor Arjune Sen’s team, as well as in people whose infection did not require hospitalization.

To reach these conclusions, the researchers studied the health records of more than 150,000 people who had both the flu and the coronavirus.

None of the patients had previously suffered from epilepsy or seizures and all were similar in age, sex and medical history.

A new review of the data, six months after infection found that patients who contracted Covid-19 were 55% more likely to develop epilepsy or seizures than people who had had the flu.

Low overall risk

The authors of the study recalled, however, that the overall risk of developing seizures or epilepsy was low. On the order of less than 1% of all people who tested positive.

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But it’s the risk of seizures and epilepsy in children that is prompting scientists to ask “health professionals to pay special attention” especially to people who have focal (partial) epileptic seizures within three months. following a Covid-19 infection.

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