Doctors warn COVID-19 could cause long term effects

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 6:12 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Many are fearful of catching COVID-19, but for some, the battle with the virus could be just the beginning.

Experts warn many are having on-going complications after they’ve gotten rid of the infection.

Doctors are still learning a lot about the novel coronavirus including how it affects the body long term.

In Governor Andy Beshear’s Thursday press conference Doctor Stephen Stack said many will show symptoms after they’ve already had the virus.

“We’ve had people with blood clots in their lungs, we’ve had people who have had strokes, we’ve had people who have had heart problems,” said Stack.

Stack says these on-going issues can be seen in an age group considered lower-risk children.

“These kids could have coronary artery aneurysms, their blood pressure could drop so precipitously they’re in the ICU, getting aggressive fluids and medicines to elevate their blood pressure, they could have permanent blood vessel damage from vasculitis, they could have permanent heart damage from myocarditis, these are things we do not know fully yet,” said Stack.

Emergency Physician Doctor Ryan Stanton says they don’t know yet how long these problems will last. He says they happen from a combination of COVID-19 itself with the immune response fighting the virus.

“When the military goes through in a battle, there’s damage that’s done to the properties and the things that are around it. Our immune system is the same way. When it gets cranked up and starts fighting things, it can often cause damage to localized tissue and organs as well, and sometimes it can get redirected and start attacking those autoimmune issues,” said Stanton.

The good news is Stanton says most people who have COVID-19 will clear it just fine. He says while around 10 percent of patients are currently seeing longer-term implications, as time goes on experts will learn more.

Stanton says he’s seeing some come into the emergency room with primary diagnoses relating to cardiovascular issues that end up instead being caused by the coronavirus.

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