Between 30 and 35 percent of student athletes who have tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus also have myocarditis, which is a potentially fatal inflammation of the heart muscle.
Director of athletic medicine at Penn State Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, speaking at a board meeting this week, said that cardiac MRI scans revealed the numbers, and connection between the conditions.
“When we looked at our COVID-positive athletes, whether they were symptomatic or not, 30 to roughly 35 percent of their heart muscles (were) inflamed,” he said, according to a report from State College, PA newspaper Centre Daily Times.
“We really just don’t know what to do with it right now. It’s still very early in the infection. Some of that has led to the Pac-12 and the Big Ten’s decision to sort of put a hiatus on what’s happening,” said Sebastianelli.
Big 10 Commissioner Kevin Warren, in announcing that decision back in August, said that it had become “abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.”
It is not clear what kind of connection there is, but as The Hill’s report notes, “the findings mark a concerning unknown that illustrates that there are potential complications from the coronavirus that are not fully understood.”
The information comes on the heels of the grossly misunderstood and misreported information from the CDC about Covid deaths and comorbidity–that is, factors present in a person’s health that can become more complicated or exacerbated by Covid-19, such as obesity. The widespread confusion over the implications of the presence of contributing factors opened the door for the more conspiracy-minded to question the very fact of the pandemic as a threat.
Sebastianelli in his comments noted that the high incidence of myocarditis among the student athletes may not be a centrally complicating factor. “There are many cardiologists, some very high level, at the Mayo Clinic, who feel like this is probably a finding that is incidental, and may not warrant any further investigation, or any further sort of concern,” he said, adding that some of the athletes who have recovered from Covid may be returning to rosters despite such a complication.
But “some of the athletes that have been infected haven’t really recovered to their full pulmonary function,” he added as a cautionary note.
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Originally published: 2020-09-03 15:26:56