New or Sudden Headaches- A Symptom of COVID-19?

In a study published in the Journal Headache, researchers from the Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences in India have reported a case of a 15-year-old boy with a headache. The throbbing headache started abruptly every 5-10 minutes. He was sensitive to light and vomiting. The headaches were worse in the morning and increased when bending forward. Except for fever five days before the onset of headache, there were no other COVID-19 symptoms. He had no fever when the doctors examined his routine blood tests were normal. Elevated pressure of 30cm of water was found in the CSF.

His headache did not improve on IV fluids, paracetamol, or acyclovir. He subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. A second lumbar puncture dramatically reduced his headache and he was treated with dexamethasone, mannitol, acetazolamide, and topiramate for two weeks during his stay in hospital. The researchers think the headache is likely a result of the body’s immune response to SARS-CoV-2, with changes in CSF production and resorption, which can lead to cerebral edema. Literature reports that about 11-14% of COVID-19 cases report head. The researchers suggest that new and sudden headaches should be tested for COVID-19. 

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