Subsequent cases of the disease indicate that the transmission of the coronavirus infection can cause serious neurological damage. The problem also affects the youngest patients. What are the symptoms of deteriorating health?
Doctor Łukasz Przysło, head of the Department of Developmental Neurology and Epileptology at the Institute of Polish Mother’s Health Center in Łódź, told about How could having coronavirus infection affect a baby’s nervous system:
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is prothrombotic in nature, therefore ischemic strokes can also occur in children. Our youngest patient with ischemic stroke after COVID-19 was only a dozen months old, and we had two more cases of postovid stroke in a 2-year-old and 3-year-old. All three stories had a happy ending, but the very incident of an acute vascular disorder in the brain makes us think about the disease – from the children’s perspective – in a completely different way.
Symptoms of neurological damage
The doctor said that three children who had a stroke suffered from the coronavirus asymptomatically, like most little patients. The following symptoms were indicated: acute hemiparesis, speech disorders, impaired consciousness, headaches.
Children particularly at risk?
In three children, the strokes appeared in regions of the brain that caused only barely perceptible changes in the form of hemiparesis. In these cases, you will need rehabilitation. Children seem to be particularly vulnerable. The neurologist said:
We must remember that neuropathy in children is higher than in adults, so the consequences of a stroke are usually smaller and milder. But of course, a stroke is just like the first domino knock – sometimes we fail to stop this cascade, especially if the source of the stroke is vasculitis, which may be progressive and needs to be stopped with drugs with many side effects.
The most common neurological symptom of contracting the coronavirus is troublesome headaches. Many describe them as “electrifying”, they are extremely strong. Some children develop inflammation of the facial nerve due to COVID. Patients with epilepsy tolerate attacks much worse, these worsen after the infection has passed. As Dr. Łukasz Przysło said:
From December 13, it will be possible to vaccinate children from the age of 5 and as a neurologist and pediatrician, I strongly encourage parents to do so. Social responsibility in Poland is unsatisfactory; vaccination of society is very low. Meanwhile, in children, we see more and more health and life-threatening complications.