Dr Norman Swan
With the large numbers of people who’ve been infected now, China, or in Italy, Spain, the UK, and the United States, more and more is being known as people start to really observe what’s going on. And there’s no question that with the clotting syndrome, where you’re more likely to produce clots in some people and the inflammation of the arteries that goes on, some people are getting strokes, or what look like strokes, and that is affecting their thinking and memory when they come out of the disease.
With SARS, the first form of SARS, 2002, 2003, there were very few long-term effects. But COVID-19 seems to affect the whole body and the brain. Even if there are no clots, there may be inflammation of the brain, causing deterioration in thinking and memory. So that is a risk of this disease moving forward. How common it is, is not absolutely clear at the moment. But it does happen in some people.