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Weirdest new Covid symptom revealed

Just when you thought we were through the discovery stage of the pandemic, scientists have published details of a strange new symptom of Covid-19.

Researchers from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire found some people who catch the virus suffer from a condition known as “face blindness”.

The bizarre condition leaves people unable to recognise familiar faces, even those of their loved ones, and despite being rare has alarmed medical experts, according to The Sun.

In an article published in the medical journal Cortex, Dartmouth medical researchers described the case of Annie, a 28 year old who contracted Covid in March 2020.

She had suffered a high fever, shortness of breath, diarrhoea and coughing spells that were sometimes so bad she would faint from a lack of oxygen.

Several weeks later, after her symptoms subsided, Annie returned to work but noticed something was wrong when she struggled to recognise faces of colleagues she once knew.

Annie only realised how bad her condition was when, at a family event, she could not recognise the face of her own dad.

“It was as if my dad’s voice came out of a stranger’s face,” she said, The Sun reports.

Upon evaluation by the Dartmouth team, all evidence suggested Annie had a deficit in face memory processing – medically known as prosopagnosia.

Tests revealed she also had difficulty navigating once-familiar places.

The study’s lead author and professor of psychological and brain sciences Brad Duchaine said the combination of the face blindness and “navigational deficits” caught researcher’s attention because the two “often go hand-in-hand after somebody either has had brain damage or developmental deficits”.

“It’s been known that there are broad cognitive problems that can be caused by Covid-19, but here we’re seeing severe and highly selective problems in Annie, and that suggests there might be a lot of other people who have quite severe and selective deficits following Covid,” Professor Duchaine said, according to The Sun.

Previous studies have found Covid can increase people’s risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and ischaemic stroke.

It’s unclear how a respiratory infection could lead to persistent neurological issues for some people.

While there is no cure for prosopagnosia, people with the condition usually learn how to compensate – in Annie’s case, she now identifies her loved ones through their voices.

According Symptoms of prosopagnosia include difficulty identifying faces in person or in photographs, inability to describe faces, confusion watching TV shows or movies with numerous characters, and feelings of disorientation in crowded places.

This article was originally published inThe Sunand was reproduced with permission

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