A small number of recovering COVID-19 patients have exhibited severe psychotic symptoms and behavior, including delusions and acts of violence against others, the New York Times reports. Case reports are emerging that demonstrate the virus not only takes a toll on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, but has a deleterious effect on the brain as well.
In interviews and scientific articles, doctors described:
A 36-year-old nursing home employee in North Carolina who became so paranoid that she believed her three children would be kidnapped and, to save them, tried to pass them through a fast-food restaurant’s drive-through window.
A 30-year-old construction worker in New York City who became so delusional that he imagined his cousin was going to murder him, and, to protect himself, he tried to strangle his cousin in bed.
A 55-year-old woman in Britain had hallucinations of monkeys and a lion and became convinced a family member had been replaced by an impostor.
Dr. [Hisam] Goueli was unsure whether the coronavirus was connected to the woman’s psychological symptoms. “Maybe this is Covid-related, maybe it’s not,” he recalled thinking. “But then,” he said, “we saw a second case, a third case and a fourth case, and we’re like, ‘There’s something happening.’”