Healthy 19-year-old dies from apparent COVID-19 neurological complications

A 19-year-old college student died Sept. 28, apparently of neurological complications tied to COVID-19, reports The New York Times. 

Chad Dorrill, a sophomore and basketball player at Boone, N.C.-based Appalachian State University, had been taking classes online when he became ill with flu-like symptoms, according to school Chancellor Sheri Everts. He tested positive for COVID-19 Sept. 7 and quarantined for 10 days with his family before returning to Boone, his uncle David Dorrill told the NYT. His nephew began experiencing dramatic neurological problems when he returned to school, Mr. Dorrill said.

The student's legs didn't work when he tried to get out of bed, Mr. Dorill said, adding that the physician called it a one-in-a-million case. The virus apparently attacked the young man's brain instead of his respiratory system, said Mr. Dorill.

Colin McDonald, MD, chair of neurology at Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Forsyth Medical Center, where Chad was removed from life support, said the staff who cared for him were "devastated."

"We are doing everything we can to figure out why this happened," Dr. McDonald said.

Only a few deaths among college students have been linked to the virus, though a NYT database has recorded at least 130,000 cases on college campuses.

More articles on public health:
Cases rise in 25 states; kids make up 10% of all cases — 7 COVID-19 updates
COVID-19 hospitalizations by state: Oct. 1
24 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Oct. 1


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