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Medical mystery: More coronavirus patients left with heart damage

HOUSTON – Doctors are dealing with a new COVID-19 medical mystery. During COVID-19, we’ve seen strange symptoms showing up in some patients. But now, we are learning about some dangerous complications in kids. Some people are developing permanent heart problems.

“There’s a whole range of cardiac symptoms that can occur due to COVID and we are just beginning to understand this,” said Dr. Barry Trachtenberg, of Houston Methodist Heart Failure and Transplantation Cardiology.

Doctors in Washington, where the virus hit earlier this year, found an alarming rate of COVID-19 patients were left with heart damage.

“Out of three developed new-onset heart failure or new-onset weakening of the heart,” Dr. Trachtenberg said.

Even patients without pre-existing medical conditions could end up with heart damage.

“Sometimes it’s not just the virus infecting the heart, but the body’s immune response to the virus that overreacts,” Dr. Trachtenberg said. “Your immune system starts attacking the heart and that’s common with certain viruses.”

Warning for Parents

For kids, there’s a growing number of suffering from an inflammatory syndrome that damages organs. New York issued an advisory on the syndrome and its potential association with COVID-19 in children. Sixty-four children in New York have now been diagnosed with this syndrome.

These cases are rare, but in one case a 12-year-old girl suffered heart failure. Doctors tell parents to be on the lookout for fever, red eyes, rash, or upset stomach.