(WAFF) - As COVID-19 continues to spread, doctors are learning more and more about the damage the virus can cause, and for some patients, it could be life-threatening.
A recent study involved taking MRIs of 100 coronavirus patients several months after their diagnosis (meaning many had seemed fully recovered) and comparing those to images from similar individuals who had not contracted the virus.
Out of the 100 COVID patients, 60 of them had signs of inflammation in the heart muscle, something Dr. Jacqueline Green, a cardiologist at Huntsville Hospital, says is concerning.
“That to us means an increased risk of having a weak heart muscle or heart failure, either temporary or long-lasting,” says Dr. Green. “It also means that they’re likely to be at an increased risk of sudden death from dangerous heart rhythms that can occur when they’re exercising.”
Study authors added no pre-existing conditions could explain the damage found.
“This data is very thought-provoking,” says Dr. Green. “Certainly, it’s going to generate a lot of questions about what kind of testing patients need after they’ve recovered to feel confident in returning to their activities and how long we should be following them.”
While many questions about coronavirus remain, one thing’s for certain.
“This virus is so humbling,” says Dr. Green. “The effects that we’re seeing, sometimes they’re hard to predict; they’re not fair. Do everything that you can to protect yourself, to protect the people that you love. Wear a mask. Take it seriously.”