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Even mild coronavirus cases can cause lasting cardiovascular damage, study shows

The Week logo The Week 28/07/2020 Kathryn Krawczyk
Cardiac scans. © iStock/Andreyuu Cardiac scans.

If you needed another reason to avoid coronavirus at all costs, here's one.

Skeptics of the disease and the necessity of shutting down the economy to stop its spread have focused on the fact that most coronavirus cases have been mild or even asymptomatic, mistakenly comparing COVID-19 to "just the flu." But a recent study of 100 recovered coronavirus patients reveals 78 of them now have lasting cardiovascular damage even though a vast majority of them had mild cases of COVID-19 in the first place.


Video: Vaccines Are Not Seen as a Cure-All: University of Maryland (Bloomberg)

The study published Monday in JAMA Cardiology details the results of cardiac MRI exams of 100 recovered coronavirus patients. Twenty-eight of them required oxygen supplementation while fighting the virus, while just two were on ventilators. But 78 of them still had cardiovascular abnormalities after recovery, with 60 of them showing "ongoing myocardial inflammation," the study shows. These conditions appeared to be independent of case severity and pre-existing conditions, though JAMA researchers note these findings need a larger study.

President Trump and his administration have tried to say America's low coronavirus mortality rate proves the country is beating the virus. But not only is COVID-19's mortality rate not as low as Trump has claimed; this study proves there are far more consequences of catching coronavirus than just dying of it.

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