Mild Coronavirus Can Cause Lingering Heart Damage

Anthony Devlin  Getty Images Woman smells perfume through a mask

Anthony Devlin Getty Images Woman smells perfume through a mask

Two separate studies published recently indicate the coronavirus can harm other organs in the body, including the heart. Most were otherwise healthy adults in their 40s and 50s. They found that the virus can leave a cardiac problem once the patients have recovered completely.

"We need long-term follow-up studies of COVID-19 survivors to see whether [the virus] impacts cardiac function over the long-term", he said.

Analysis of the MRIs showed that 78 out of 100 people had signs of heart damage.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, and it can reduce the heart's ability to pump, potentially causing irregular heartbeats, Puntmann said.

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Dr. Clyde Yancy of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Dr. Gregg Fonarow of the University of California, Los Angeles, co-authored an editorial that accompanied the two studies, reported HT. His team also found that "patients' CD8+ T cells recognize the same, relatively small number of targets that are unique to the novel coronavirus and don't tend to mutate, paving the way for diagnostic tests that detect immunity based on T cells", MacBeath said. "... if this high rate of risk is confirmed, the pathologic basis for progressive left ventricular dysfunction is validated, and especially if longitudinal assessment reveals new-onset heart failure in the recovery phase of COVID-19, then the crisis of COVID-19 will not abate but will instead shift to a new de novo incidence of heart failure and other chronic cardiovascular complications".

The majority of the patients in this study, 67 of them, recovered from the coronavirus at home with severity ranging from asymptomatic to moderate.

In a second study involving autopsies from 39 COVID-19 cases, researchers found a presence of viral infection within the myocardium or the middle, muscular layer of the heart, in 24 patients. Those patients tended to be older, in their 80s.

It has been reported that an global team of neuroscientists from Harvard Medical School (HMS), U.S., in breakthrough research, has identified certain types of olfactory cells that are highly susceptible to the novel SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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"We know the virus is making its way into the heart muscle, and seems to cause an inflammatory response that we don't fully understand yet", Dr. Matthew Belford, an interventional cardiologist at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said.

Doctors have known for some time that COVID-19 can wreak havoc on the circulatory system, potentially leading to unsafe blood clots.

As per the latest study published in the journal Science Advances on 24th July, the olfactory sensory neurons are devoid of the gene that helps encode the ACE2 receptor protein that is, in fact, used by the SARS-CoV-2 for entering human cells.

ACE2 receptors are often found in endothelial cells, located in the lining of the heart and blood vessels.

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