A man became so delirious after being infected with coronavirus that he confessed to his wife that he used to have sex with men, doctors have revealed.
The 41-year-old man, who is unnamed, ended up in hospital with a cough and fever before testing positive for the deadly bug, which doctors believe triggered a manic-like state and bizarre symptoms.
The man, who was treated at St Thomas' Hospital in London, also became ‘loud and highly aroused’ and inappropriately touched nurses.
He also became obsessed with 'religious ideas' which included trying to splash water on fellow patients as if he were baptising them, medics said.
Describing the experience, the patient said he was so delirious during the episode he thought he was starring in a television series.
He said: "I began to think that I was part of a TV show, in which I was sent back from the future to save the NHS, and I was curious to see how this would end."
In the case report, published in BMJ Case Reports, his doctors explained: “He had woken at night restless, agitated and reported feeling like his ‘brain was racing’. He told his wife that he felt like he was ‘going to die’.
“He also confessed to numerous hitherto undisclosed homosexual encounters and other sexual behaviours described as uncharacteristic by his wife.”
“He was loud and highly aroused with sexual disinhibition and overfamiliar behaviour, inappropriately questioning and touching members of staff.
“His speech was pressured, and his mood subjectively and objectively elevated. His thoughts were grandiose with persecutory elements, and he had persistent strong religious ideas, manifestations of which included attempts to anoint fellow patients with water.
"He also obsessively wrote down every personal interaction and bodily sensation. He said he found this experience 'liberating'."
He became so out of control he had to be sedated and was transferred to intensive care and supported with ventilation.
He was eventually sectioned under the Mental Health Act after remaining in a manic state for more than a week.
Speaking about his experience, the patient said: "I was taken to hospital on the 4th April with what I would describe as the worst headache of my life. At this time, I had been suffering with the symptoms of Covid-19 for over a week.
"I was in hospital for a total of 20 days with psychosis and mania, which I experienced as fascinating.
"This may seem strange from an outside perspective, but I was, in my mania, trying to help the doctors as much as I could, while at the same time trying to make sense of my condition.
"For my family and friends it was frightening. Luckily, they had a lot of support from each other, and from the great team of doctors at St. Thomas hospital."
Thankfully, the man’s mania improved, and he was discharged after 12 days after being sectioned.
During a follow-up 23 days later, his wife confirmed that his behaviour had returned to normal.
The researchers believe that the man may have had previously undiagnosed bipolar disorder, but haven’t ruled out the option that his behaviour was trigged by Covid-19.
Doctors believe coronavirus affects the body in multiple ways, including the central nervous system.
They added: “This report outlines a rare case of acute mania associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
"This was particularly severe, necessitating emergency intubation and subsequent inpatient psychiatric admission.