COVID-19: Know About Facial Paralysis Condition Reported In Vaccine Trial Volunteers

As the United Kingdom started inoculating people with the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, four volunteers who were administered the vaccine in the trial stage developed Bell’s palsy, according to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators.

Bell’s palsy is a facial paralysis condition that has been reported in the United States of America as a complication which is arising in Pfizer’s COVID vaccine trials volunteers.

In Britain, allergy warning for use of Pfizer’s vaccine was issued within 24 hours of vaccine rollout, soon after the report surfaced that 4 people from the state-run NHS developed allergic symptoms after getting the shot.

However, this is not the first time Bell’s Palsy has come to light in relation to COVID-19. In November, the facial paralysis condition was also reported to be a common symptom of COVID-19. It was reported in pregnant women.

Here is all you need to know about Bell’s Palsy or facial paralysis.

What is Bell’s Palsy?

A facial nerve paralysis is known as Bell’s Palsy. It is a condition in which the muscles in the face experience a temporary weakness or paralysis. It usually happens when the nerves that control your facial muscles become sore, swollen, or compressed. It can lead to droop of one side of your face or becomes stiff.

Bell’s Palsy reported in 4 trial volunteers in the US

US FDA may issue an allergy warning for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine after UK did the same. AFP has reported that the FDA will probably ask the providers to watch for whether people are developing rare but temporary, and not very serious form of facial paralysis. This paralysis is called Bell’s palsy. A data showed four people out of about 19,000 in the vaccine arm of the trial got the condition.

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Doctors suggest Bell’s Palsy becoming a common symptom of COVID-19

According to reports, cases of facial nerve paralysis are becoming more and more common among COVID-19 patients. Patients are reporting the problem, who do not even have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, indicating that even asymptomatic patients of COVID may also suffer from the complication.

The studies have also said that clinicians should be aware that this may be an early presentation of the disease.

Earlier, two studies, conducted in Liverpool and Japan had also found a link between SARS-CoV-2 and increased number of facial paralysis cases in recent times.

BMJ reported t a case of a term pregnancy diagnosed with COVID-19 after presenting with isolated peripheral facial palsy. Afterwards the woman experienced contractions and was admitted to the hospital.

However, doctors noted that her left peripheral had facial nerve paralysis. As she had no other evident causes of why it had happened, leaving the doctors puzzled.

“Acute facial nerve disease leading to peripheral facial paralysis is commonly associated with viral infections. COVID-19 may be a potential cause of peripheral facial paralysis and neurological symptoms could be the first and only manifestation of the disease,” reads the BMJ report.

Since COVID-19 has been associated with neurological symptoms, chances are that even Bell’s Palsy could be a result of the same.

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