What psychiatric problems can follow a severe case of COVID-19?

Severe cases can cause delirium, confusion and agitation

(CNN) – Psychiatric problems may appear in patients who have battled COVID-19, according to a new study.

Delirium, confusion and agitation may be common for people while hospitalized with severe coronavirus infections, but the long-term implications are uncertain.

The research appears in “The Lancet Psychiatry,” a medical journal.

Researchers looked at 72 different studies on two historical coronaviruses, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), as well as current studies on COVID-19.

About a third of patients infected with SARS or MERS experienced post-traumatic stress disorder within about three years, the study says.

About 15% of such patients were diagnosed with depression within about two years and 15% were diagnosed with anxiety at the one-year point.

While there's no evidence common mental health illnesses will persist in patients, researchers say doctors should watch out for signs of these disorders in the weeks and months following recovery from a severe COVID-19 infection.

The research team says more data is needed on psychiatric symptoms associated with COVID-19.

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