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COVID-19 Patients Presenting with Mental Illnesses-Experts

According to mental health experts, while studies are still ongoing to establish the mental effects of COVID-19, some cases that have been treated in the country have presented with a series of mental conditions including anxiety, acute psychosis, delirium, depression and chronic fatigue.
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Patients receiving treatment for COVID-19 and some of the recovered cases are presenting with a number of mental illnesses, mental health experts have revealed.

While studies show that COVID-19 mainly affects the respiratory system, medical experts says evidence from active patients and recovered cases shows that it also affects the mental health of patients.

According to mental health experts, while studies are still ongoing to establish the mental effects of COVID-19, some cases that have been treated in the country have presented with a series of mental conditions including anxiety, acute psychosis, delirium, depression and chronic fatigue.

Prof Noeline Nakasujja, the head of the Psychiatry Department at the College of Health Sciences at Makerere University, says that the most common mental health condition Covid19 patients presented during treatment was anxiety and depression.

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Some of the patients continued presenting with signs of mental illness even after treatment.

Dr Juliet Nakku, the Executive Director of Butabiika Mental National Referral Hospital, says that while they are still studying the effects COVID1-19 might have on humans, they have so far identified depression and chronic fatigue as the most comment effect. 

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She explained that some of the patients who were admitted were suicidal. "During admission as they were getting treatment, some of the patients were very depressed that they developed suicidal tendencies. We had to carry out counselling," she said.

Uganda has a total of 5,857 COVID-19recovered patients. However, it's not clear how many of the recovered patients might have suffered from an episode of depression or anxiety. Ideally, it takes positive COVID-19 case fourteen days to recover from the illness.

In other countries, recovered patients have reported a number of conditions such as dementia, inflammation of the heart, persistent shortness in breathe and fatigue.

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