Respiratory failure alone does not suggest central nervous system invasion by SARS-CoV-2
Many viruses can occasionally gain entry into the human central nervous system (CNS), even if most of the disease they cause does not involve the CNS. Although evidence of coronavirus (CoV) infection has been identified in children with encephalitis, and nucleic acid of CoVs can be demonstrated in human brain, isolation of infectious virus, or detection of virus by PCR in the context of a compatible clinical illness is only rarely reported the literature. Human CoVs (HCoV) can infect CNS cell types in culture and can cause encephalitis in newborn mice,6 but despite this apparent biological basis for HCoVs causing CNS disease in humans, no definitive link between HCoVs and human nervous system disease has been made.
Journal of Medical Virology
1. Patient Research for Public Health