Frankly, delirium just wasn’t on the radar. You know to look out for the fever and coughing that often go hand in hand with the coronavirus. Then there are the body aches, loss of smell and taste, and the occasional stomach upset you should be on the lookout for too.
But when it comes to warning signs that you, or a loved one, has contracted a case of COVID-19, there’s MORE to the story. And that’s especially true for older folks.
In fact, there’s one warning sign you’d probably never expect was connected to this nasty virus. In some cases, you may not even seek emergency help when it shows up, despite it being your first symptom of a potentially deadly coronavirus infection.
And that’s because this one’s out of left field. You might even mistake it for a “senior moment” gone wrong.
Seniors watch for THIS coronavirus symptom
Suddenly, you’re feeling confused, and you’re just not sure what’s going on. You’ve never felt quite like this before.
You wonder if maybe you’re just overtired. Or if it could be something far worse like a stroke or the first sign of Alzheimer’s.
But it turns out that confusion may have been triggered by something else entirely. It could be your first indication that you have a COVID-19 infection.
A new study has revealed that 28 percent of older patients with coronavirus show signs of delirium, including…
Now, it’s true you might expect these complications in some other cases of severe infection. But that’s where these findings take an unexpected turn.
For 16 percent of seniors with coronavirus, that delirium was the MAIN symptom. And ONE IN THREE patients with delirium and coronavirus had NONE of the other “typical” COVID-19 symptoms.
Only half were coughing, and barely more than that had a fever. Worse yet, the seniors with delirium as part of their coronavirus symptoms were more likely to suffer from worse outcomes, including longer ICU stays and even death.
Don’t let COVID-19 delirium sneak up on you
Experts think one reason folks battling coronavirus linked delirium fair so poorly is that they often don’t recognize what’s going on at first. So they don’t get to the hospital quickly. Instead, they wait a bit too long, and that delay leads to a steeper decline.
What makes this scenario especially scary is that as your confusion gets worse, you may be less able to recognize what’s going on and less likely to seek help.
For example, in the new study, many patients were in such rough shape that they were no longer able to seek out medical attention themselves. Instead, they were brought in by concerned family members.
Don’t let things reach that point. If you find yourself feeling foggy, call your doc ASAP. Or head to the emergency room to get checked out.
Feeling disoriented doesn’t mean you have the coronavirus, of course. But since this is the second study in recent months to find delirium can be a COVID-19 symptom, your doc needs to know about it. Let him decide if you need testing, treatment, or even an ambulance. (If your symptoms are severe or alarming, skip the middle man and call the ambulance yourself.)
And while you’re healthy, tell your loved ones about this study. Let them know about these signs so they can call for help, in case you’re not able to do so on your own.