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Urgent warning to anyone who’s had Covid over new ‘side effect that can strike months later’

IF you’ve had Covid you could be at risk of another nasty side effect, scientists have discovered.

The virus has been found to increase your risk of developing seizures or epilepsy within six months of being infected, medics in Oxford found.

Experts in the US have identified another complication that could strike people who have had Covid-19

Writing in the journal Neurology, the team at the University of Oxford said Covid poses a greater risk of the complication than flu – but added the overall risk is still low.

The increased risk was more noticeable in children than in adults and was also more common in those who had not been hospitalised with a Covid-19 infection, they found.

Researchers studied the health records of over 150,000 people with both the flu and coronavirus.

None of the patients had previously experienced epilepsy or seizures and were all similar in age, sex and medical history.

After revisiting the data after a six-month period, the scientists found that those who had Covid were 55 per cent more likely to develop epilepsy or seizures over the next six months than people who had the flu.

Despite this, the overall risk of developing seizures or epilepsy was low, study author Arjune Sen, of the University of Oxford said.

This was less than one per cent of all people who had tested positive for the bug, he explained.

He added: “The increased risk of seizures and epilepsy in children gives us another reason to try to prevent Covid-19 infections in kids.

“People should interpret these results cautiously since the overall risk is low.

“We do, however, recommend that health care professionals pay particular attention to individuals who may have more subtle features of seizures, such as focal aware seizures, where people are alert and aware of what is going on, especially in the three months following a less severe Covid-19 infection.”


In recent weeks, coronavirus infections and hospitalisations have fallen in the UK, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found.

Millions of people have been vaccinated, with others also having some immunity and protection from prior infections.

The current strain doing the rounds across the UK is Omicron, which has been found to be milder than those that came before it.

One limitation of the study, the experts said, was that researchers had been unable to identify which variant of the virus participants of the study had been infected with.

This may have influenced the results, they added.

A previous study, published by experts in the US in September, also found that those who’ve had Covid might experience issues such as seizures, strokes and memory problems.

The research, from medics at Washington University School of Medicine revealed that people who had Covid-19 were 80 per cent more likely to suffer from epilepsy or seizures than someone who didn’t catch the virus.

One epilepsy sufferer however, recently revealed that he hasn’t had a seizure since catching the bug.

Stewart Laidlaw, 51, from Edinburgh, was diagnosed with epilepsy shortly after birth and would suffer seizures every month.

But a year after catching Covid, he said he hadn’t experienced one.

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