Duke doctor says COVID-19 can lead to psychosis in very rare cases

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Coronavirus (Photo: MGN Online)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Doctors across the world, including in the Triangle, are reporting extremely rare cases of severe psychiatric symptoms they say are brought on by COVID-19.

Dr. Brian Kincaid is the medical director for psychiatric emergency department services at Duke University Hospital.

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He and other Duke doctors published in the medical journal, The BMJ, about their first instance of what they call “COVID-19 associated-psychosis” in a patient with no history of mental illness.

Since then, he says Duke has seen one or two more cases like this, and hospitals worldwide have described similar situations.

“In these types of cases that we’ve seen, their behavior goes into the realm of what we call psychosis,” explained Kincaid. “Delusions were a prominent symptom in a number of the cases that we’ve seen, feeling that various people were out to get them when we didn’t have any evidence of that; people have described feeling that they are being tracked by specific people on their cellphones in ways that really aren’t possible.”

He said doctors are not sure exactly why COVID-19 could cause these symptoms.

Read more here.