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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Sophie Collins

Warning over the little known Covid side effect that can develop months after infection

Experts have found a little-known Covid side effect which is being reported by people who had Covid within six months of noticing the latest health defect.

According to Oxford medics, the virus has been found to increase a person’s risk of experiencing seizures or developing epilepsy in the six months after being infected.

The latest complication of Covid to be discovered has been written about in medical journals and the team at Oxford University is outlining the risks.

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While Covid continues to pose a greater chance of seizures and epilepsy than the standard flu, it is understood that the overall risk remains low among the public.

It was also found to be more noticeable in children than in adults and was more common in those who had been hospitalised with a Covid-19 infection.

Researchers studied the health records of more than 150,000 people who developed the flu and Covid.

None of the patients had previously experienced epilepsy or seizures and were all of a similar age, sex, and medical history.

Over a six-month period, the scientists found that those who had Covid were 55% more likely to develop epilepsy or seizures over the six months following their infection than those who had the flu.

Despite this, the overall risk of developing seizures or epilepsy was low, as it accounted for less than one percent of all people who had tested positive for the bug, he explained.

Speaking about the study, author Arjune Sen said: "The increased risk of seizures and epilepsy in children gives us another reason to try to prevent Covid-19 infections in kids.

"People should interpret these results cautiously since the overall risk is low.

"We do, however, recommend that health care professionals pay particular attention to individuals who may have more subtle features of seizures, such as focal-aware seizures, where people are alert and aware of what is going on, especially in the three months following a less severe Covid-19 infection.”

While the threat of catching Covid remains present in Ireland, all restrictions outside of hospitals and medical settings have ended, while some hospitals still have restrictions in place.

The current guidelines state that you should continue to self-isolate if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and you are advised to wear a face mask on public transport and in healthcare settings.

There is no requirement to show proof of vaccination or recovery to travel to Ireland and you also do not have to complete a Passenger Locator Form.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19, you should self-isolate until 48 hours after your symptoms end.

You no longer need a Covid-19 test if you have symptoms unless you:

  • Are 55 or older and have not received a booster
  • Have a high-risk medical condition
  • Are immunocompromised
  • Live in the same household or provide care and support to someone who is immunocompromised
  • Are pregnant
  • Are a healthcare worker

If you are a close contact with no symptoms, you no longer need a test unless you are a healthcare worker who is a household close contact.


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