Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Comparison of neurological manifestations in the two waves of COVID-19 infection: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Neurology, Aster MIMS, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Aster MIMS, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
3 Department of General Medicine, Aster MIMS, Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Sachin Sureshbabu,
Department of Neurology, Aster MIMS, Calicut, Kerala - 673016
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.aian_1048_21

Introduction: Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) is an ongoing pandemic caused by highly contagious virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-COV-2) that has infected millions of people across the world. Most of the countries have seen two wave patterns of the pandemic. The second wave is potentially more challenging due to high influx of cases, differing properties of the emerging mutants, and other dynamics of the evolving pandemic. Neurological manifestations are common among COVID-19 positive patients. In this context, the present study attempts to compare the neurological manifestation in the first and second waves of COVID-19. Methodology: A single-center retrospective observational study was undertaken to compare neurological manifestations in the first and second waves of COVID-19. A sample of 1500 patients in the second wave admitted with COVID-19 were included in this study and the findings were compared with 1700 patients in the first wave (data derived from a former study in the same center). A detailed questionnaire addressing co-morbidities, admission details, and clinical features was employed to collect data from the hospital records. Results: Out of 1500 COVID-19 patients in the second wave of COVID-19, 355 (23.7%) of them had one or more neurological manifestations during their in-patient stay. The most common neurological symptom in the 2nd wave of COVID-19 was headache reported in 216 (14.4%) of patients followed by fatigue in 130 (8.7%), myalgia in 120 (8.0%), smell and taste disorders (STD) in 90 (6.0%), altered sensorium in 40 (2.7%), dizziness in 24 (1.6%), seizures in 34 (2.3%), encephalopathy in 26 (1.7%), strokes in 13 (0.9%), etc., Compared to the first wave of COVID-19, dizziness (P < 0.001), myalgia (P = 0.001), headache (P < 0.001) and meningoencephalitis (P = 0.01) were more common while cerebrovascular syndromes (P = 0.001) were less common in the second wave. The mortality in the 2nd wave neurological subgroup was higher [66 (18.6%)] than 1st wave neurological subgroup [23 (10%)]. Conclusion: Meningoencephalitis, headache, and seizures were found to be more common in second wave as compared to first wave. The severity and mortality rate were higher in the second wave.

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