Beijing Ditan Hospital warns novel coronavirus could attack central nervous system
Updated 12:28, 05-Mar-2020
By She Jingwei
A doctor in Beijing Ditan Hospital, has warned the novel coronavirus could attack the central nervous system as gene sequencing at the hospital found coronavirus in the cerebrospinal fluid of a 56-year-old confirmed COVID-19 patient with encephalitis.
Ditan Hospital was a key medical facility in China's fight against the SARS outbreak in 2003.
It is the first case that proves the novel coronavirus can damage people's central nervous system, media reported on Wednesday.
The patient recovered and was discharged from the hospital on February 25. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on January 24, and was the first patient with encephalitis among some 150 coronavirus patients the hospital has treated since January 12, the hospital said.
In light of this case, Dr. Liu Jingyuan, the doctor in charge of this patient in the ICU department reminded doctors of the possibility that the novel coronavirus could attack the central nervous system if patients show dysfunction of consciousness.
As the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) has become a public health event, the treatment of patients with severe coronavirus infection is still a huge challenge. The direct damage to the target organ and the resulting systemic inflammatory response from SARS-CoV-2 may be the main pathogenic mechanism after human infection, Liu said, adding that the work on cerebrospinal fluid as well as other related examinations should be improved.
COVID-19 patients could also see complications related to severe respiratory distress syndrome, myocardial damage, kidney injury and other organ damage. But the hospital said COVID-19 patients who have shown nervous disorders were relatively rare compared with respiratory and cardiac complications.