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Heart issues could be linked to COVID-19

Sep 11, 2020

Despite lingering symptoms of the coronavirus, Laney Brown, 23, of Kansas City, considers herself one of the lucky ones.

She tested positive for COVID-19 in late June after a trip to Florida.

"I had a bachelorette party planned in Florida, so I went to that," she said.

Brown now regrets that trip.

"People are partying," she said. "They're going out to bars. They're not really taking it seriously."

She considers possible issues down the line. If not for her, then for other COVID-19 survivors.

"There definitely is a possibility that some things could go wrong from having COVID, I think," Brown said.

Dr. David Weisman, an electrophysiologist at Good Samaritan Medical Center, said he's starting to see patients who have developed cardiac related symptoms post-COVID.

"The real damage that we're seeing from COVID is this downstream super, hyper inflammatory response that's systemic," he said. "Even if you're young and healthy, I mean, we've definitely seen patients who have developed these long-term problems."

Heart conditions are among the secondary long-term health effects doctors said they are seeing from the virus.

"It's not something that we clearly understand, but there is a precedence for this with other viruses, many of them being respiratory issues, causing these downstream effects," Weisman said.

He said patients are worried about the acute issues and ending up in the hospital, but they need to consider further down the road as well.

"I don't know that every individual who has had COVID necessarily needs to go and see their cardiologist to make sure that they are OK," Weisman said. "But if you've recovered from COVID and months later, year later, you are having shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue that's just unexplained by your normal activities, I think that's a consideration."

Brown said her personal story should serve as a reminder to other young, healthy adults.

"Not that I didn't think it was real, but I was definitely sketched out, just because no one I knew had it," she said.

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