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Doctors weigh in on risks of heart condition linked to COVID-19

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 8:38 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Myocarditis is a heart condition that can stem from the Novel Coronavirus.

It also could be another deciding factor for the possible return of college sports.

Emergency physician Dr. Ryan Stanton said it’s typically caused by the immune system trying to fight off a viral infection. He said symptoms include chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath and decreased activity tolerance.

Dr. Vincent Sorrell, professor of medicine and cardiologist at UK Hospital, said he sees the condition more in Kentucky than in other states.

“None of us are really surprised that we are seeing cases, rare, but cases, of pretty bad Myocarditis involving people that are covid positive,” he said.

The doctors said most cases of the disease are mild, but it can be very serious, and can cause long-term damage.

Damage that could prevent athletes from playing now, and in the long run.

“All athletes have the stress on the heart and the ones that have greater contact have another risk of transmission,” Dr. Sorrell said.

College officials are left to decide if players are allowed on the field, knowing the risks could run high.

“Imagine if you’re somebody who’s a pretty good athlete and have this, there’s no chance of making it to the pros then you can always say that you’re going to be the best player that ever existed, and there’s no argument at that point because you can’t show it,” Dr. Stanton said.

Dr. Sorrell said knowing young men are more likely to be affected is an important consideration in this game time decision.

“I do feel that people are making an abundance of caution decisions probably for the right reasons medically,” he said.

ESPN has reported that at least five players in the Big 10 Conference and more athletes in others have been diagnosed with Myocarditis.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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