Increased Symptoms of COVID-19 Associated with Psychiatric Symptoms

Researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Universidade Municipal de São Caetano do Sul in Brazil had conducted a study which revealed that a significant level of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress may follow COVID-19 independent of any previous psychiatric diagnoses. Exposure to increased symptomatic levels of COVID-19 may be associated with psychiatric symptoms after the acute phase of the disease. Nasal swabs were collected from residents within a section of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 18 years of age or older with suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

Those who tested positive for COVID-19 — with at least two of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, change in/loss of smell — and were classified as mild cases were further assessed for the presence of psychiatric symptoms approximately two months later. Significant levels of depressive, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress symptoms were reported by 26 percent, 22 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. For comparison purposes, previous estimates of post-traumatic stress levels within Brazil were 8.5% demonstrating that the prevalence within individuals presenting with mild COVID-19 increased versus past estimates.

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