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Doctors Trying To Unravel Mystery Behind COVID-19 Brain Fog, Neurological Issues

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Health experts are warning people about the side effects COVID-19 can cause. According to recent data, as many as 30 percent of patients suffer from long-term neurological or psychiatric symptoms.

When Claudia Perez contracted COVID at a family gathering, she experienced most of the symptoms, we've all heard about, body aches, coughing, congestion, chills, and a fever. However, when she returned to work a few weeks later, it was her mind that became the problem.

"Third week I went back to work, and I found I couldn't read emails, couldn't concentrate, I couldn't comprehend anything I was reading," Perez explained.

Claudia's COVID-induced confusion is something medical and scientific researchers say is becoming increasingly more common.

While data varies widely, the most recent statistics from the National Institutes of Health reveal that as many as 30-percent of all COVID-19 patients suffer from some sort of neurological or psychiatric symptoms.

"They never really returned to normal life, and we noticed patients could not function normally as they were," explained Dr. Syeda Hussain, a Memorial Healthcare System physician.

The Memorial Healthcare System is the first to set up a COVID long-haul clinic in south Florida.

"In some cases, mild symptoms like headaches And in some cases, shortness of breath, fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression," said Dr. Hussain.

"I never had issues with anxiety. Now I do. I never had issue with my memory. I'm only 40 and suddenly I was losing my memory," said Perez.

A mom of five, Perez admits at one point she couldn't find her car in a mall parking lot and once she finally did, she didn't remember her way home.

It's a particularly perplexing issue because medical professionals admit they don't really know why this brain fog and other neurological issues are happening.

"There's no blood test of imaging that can explain the symptoms," said Dr. Hussain.

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