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Scary New COVID Side Effect Discovered by British Researchers

It isn’t just your body which can be ravaged by the virus.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab
Woman touches temples with hands suffers from throbbing severe headache

Over the last year, our understanding of COVID-19 has evolved dramatically. Initially, scientists and health experts primarily focused on the initial physical damage the virus causes on the body, and how it attacks various organs. However, it soon became clear that the body wasn't the only thing being ravaged by the virus—some people were experiencing problems of the mind as well. A recent study conducted by British researchers have found that a shocking number of people fall into this category. Read on to learn about their findings—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Nearly One in Five COVID Patients Have a Psychiatric Disorder, Says Study

According to researchers from the University of Oxford who published their findings in The Lancet Psychiatry, nearly one in five COVID-19 patients are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder—including anxiety, depression, or insomnia—within three months of testing positive.

"People have been worried that COVID-19 survivors will be at greater risk of psychiatric disorders, and our findings in a large and detailed study show this to be true," Dr. Paul Harrison, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Theme Lead – NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), who led the study, explained in a press release. 

"Services need to be ready to provide care, especially since our results are likely to be underestimates of the actual number of cases. We urgently need research to investigate the causes and identify new treatments."

Additionally, they discovered that having a psychiatric disorder also increased the chances of contracting the virus—those with pre-existing psychiatric disorders were a whopping 65% more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those without.

"This finding was unexpected and needs to be further explored," said Dr. Max Taquet, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow, who conducted the analyses. "In the meantime, having a psychiatric illness should be added to the list of risk factors for COVID-19."

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How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic

So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.