COVID-19 Side Effect: A Headache That Lasts Longer Than The Virus

COVID-19 Side Effect: A Headache That Lasts Longer Than The Virus


The date is August 27, 2020

A headache is one of the initial symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, but it’s also becoming known as a symptom that lasts long after the disease has passed.

Dr. Valeriya Klats, a neurologist and headache expert at the Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Ayer Institute Headache Center in Fairfield County, said persistent headaches come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but are usually severe enough to require medical attention.

She explained, "We’re seeing a tiny subset of folks who have persistent headache symptoms even after their acute illness has passed.". “This can be a one-time occurrence or a daily occurrence. This is referred to as the new ‘daily persistent headache,’ and it is quite inconvenient for people

Dr. Klats stated that headache is a well-known symptom of the COVID-19 virus, which is recognized as a top symptom on the CDC website and is reported by healthcare professionals in their patients all over the world.

“We know that coronavirus affects the neurological system both within and outside of the brain,” she added, adding that even people without a history of headaches typically develop severe headaches shortly after contracting COVID-19.

Dr. Sandhya Mehla, a specialist at the HHC Headache Clinic, investigated the incident.

“According to the most recent available statistics, headache is a symptom in approximately 13% of COVID-19 patients,” she stated. After fever, cough, muscle aches, and trouble breathing, it is the fifth most prevalent COVID-19 symptom

Dr. Klatz said research is still needed to find  the best way to characterize headaches caused by COVID-19 infection.

“What we’ve noticed anecdotally is that patients describe symptoms that are similar to migraines, tension headaches, or a combination of the two. We’re treating it as a secondary ailment – a headache caused by a viral infection – and then treating it based on the symptomotology described by the patients,” she said.

Dr. Mehla advised anyone with a rapid onset, severe headache to get medical attention as a suspected COVID-19 sign, especially if additional symptoms such as pains, fever, and loss of taste or smell are present.

_For more information on help for headaches, click here.

Do you have a stomachache? _Call your healthcare practitioner for advice, and try to avoid going straight to an emergency room or urgent care center, since this could spread the sickness more.

To book a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care clinician, click here

Stick with Hartford HealthCare for the most up-to-date information on the coronavirus threat. For information that is updated on a daily basis, click here

Click here to listen to and subscribe to Hartford HealthCare’s More Life podcast on Apple Podcasts

Maintain your fitness. Keep a positive attitude. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. With Hartford HealthCare’s daily SMS alerts, you can stay on top of COVID-19. Text MoreLife to 31996 to become a subscriber