From a dry cough to a loss of taste, coronavirus is known to be associated with a range of unpleasant symptoms.
But Covid-19 has also been linked to several lesser-known side effects – including delirium.
Now, a bizarre case report has revealed that one coronavirus-infected man became so delirious that he admitted to his wife that he used to have sex with men before their marriage.
The 41-year-old man, who is unnamed, went to hospital after experiencing a dry cough for 10 days, and a severe headache for one day.
In the case report, published in BMJ Case Reports, his doctors explained: “He had woken at night restless, agitated and reported feeling like his ‘brain was racing’. He told his wife that he felt like he was ‘going to die’.
“He also confessed to numerous hitherto undisclosed homosexual encounters and other sexual behaviours described as uncharacteristic by his wife.”
The strange behaviours didn’t stop there – while in hospital the man was ‘loud and highly aroused’, according to the doctors.
They added: “He was loud and highly aroused with sexual disinhibition and overfamiliar behaviour, inappropriately questioning and touching members of staff.
“His speech was pressured, and his mood subjectively and objectively elevated. His thoughts were grandiose with persecutory elements, and he had persistent strong religious ideas, manifestations of which included attempts to anoint fellow patients with water.”
His behaviour worsened to the point where doctors deemed it necessary to transfer him to ICU for sedation and ventilation, despite no respiratory issues.
Thankfully, the man’s mania improved, and he was discharged after 12 days. During a follow-up, 23 days later, his wife confirmed that his behaviour had returned to normal.
The researchers believe that the man may have had previously undiagnosed bipolar disorder, but haven’t ruled out the option that his behaviour was trigged by Covid-19.
They added: “This report outlines a rare case of acute mania associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. This was particularly severe, necessitating emergency intubation and subsequent inpatient psychiatric admission.
“Although this may represent a first episode of a primary psychiatric condition such as bipolar disorder, it is also important to consider other organic disease given the simultaneous diagnosis of COVID-19.”
This isn’t the first time that doctors have seen a link between delirium and coronavirus.
Speaking to Healthline, Dr Halim Fadil, a neurologist at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, explained: “Many COVID-19 patients have been reported to have neurological symptoms, such as headache, confusion, seizures, and even strokes.”