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One in five COVID-19 patients diagnosed with mental health issues after testing positive

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Dr Max Taquet speaking to Euronews Tonight
Dr Max Taquet speaking to Euronews Tonight   -   Copyright  Euronews
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One in five COVID-19 patients has been diagnosed with a mental illness within three months of testing positive for the virus.

This is according to a study conducted in the US by the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre and the University of Oxford.

The analysis of electronic health records of 69 million people in the US including over 62,000 cases of COVID-19 showed that many suffered from anxiety, depression or insomnia.

"When we say anxiety we mean an actual diagnosis rather than a symptom, which we all have had from time to time", Dr Max Taquet, who conducted the analyses, told Euronews Tonight.

"So there seems to be a link between COVID-19 and mental health", he added.

"It's above and beyond what we would expect for other conditions such as influence or skin infections."

He explained that a quarter of the people who had mental illness after their COVID-19 diagnosis had never had a psychiatric diagnosis in their life which he said was "quite worrisome."

The study also found that having a diagnosis of psychiatric disorder in the year before the virus outbreak was associated with a 65% increased risk of COVID-19.

You can watch the full interview in the player above.