Over the course of the last nine months since COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China, we have continued to learn more about the highly infectious virus, responsible for the deaths of over 200,000 Americans. One of the scariest things about coronavirus, is that even those with mild symptoms — or none at all — are experiencing long-term damage as a result of their infection. And, recent studies have pinpointed that some of that devastation is occurring in the heart. On Wednesday morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and explained why he is so concerned about two troubling new studies. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Some COVID-19 Patients Have Had Heart Damage
Dr. Fauci explained that out of a group of people who had recovered from the virus, with "various degrees of involvement,"— ranging from moderate to disease that required medical intervention — they majority experienced some sort of heart damage.
"By doing MRIs they found that 60-70 percent had indication of inflammatory disease of the heart," he explained, noting that they were relatively asymptomatic.
As to the extent of the damage and if it is permanent or whether the heart will eventually repair itself, he admits that it isn't clear as of yet. However, he did offer two possible scenarios.
"It could clear up and they could have no problem for the rest of their lives," he said about the first.
Alternatively, it could result in long-term damage.
"When you have inflammation you can have scarring," he pointed out. "That could lead to arrhythmias later on or lead to cardiomyopathies."
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Still to Early to Draw Definitive Conclusions
However, due to the fact that the virus has only been around for such a short period of time, it is impossible to determine as of yet. "I do not know what it would be but it is something we need to keep our eye on," said.
In his opening statement earlier in the hearing he also discussed how seemingly recovered individuals are experiencing heart complications.
"We found to our dismay that a number of individuals who have completely recovered and apparently are asymptomatic, when they have sensitive imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance, imaging, or MRI, have found to have a disturbing number of individuals who have inflammation of the heart," he said.
Ultimately, he made it clear that there is still a lot to learn about COVID-19.
"These are the kinds of things that tell us, we must be humble and that we do not completely understand the nature of this illness," he said.
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How to Avoid COVID-19
If you experience any heart issues, contact your medical professional immediately. And to keep yourself free from COVID-19, do as Dr. Fauci advises: wear a mask, avoid crowds, wash your hands and don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.