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Covid-19 Is Creating a Wave of Heart Disease

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Opinion

Covid-19 Is Creating a Wave of Heart Disease

Emerging data show that some of the coronavirus’s most potent damage is inflicted on the heart.

By Haider Warraich

Dr. Warraich is a cardiologist.

  • Aug. 17, 2020

A nurse treated a Covid-19 patient in a New York City intensive care unit in April.Credit...John Minchillo/Associated Press

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, was initially thought to primarily impact the lungs — SARS stands for “severe acute respiratory syndrome.” Now we know there is barely a part of the body this infection spares. And emerging data show that some of the virus’s most potent damage is inflicted on the heart.

Eduardo Rodriguez was poised to start as the No. 1 pitcher for the Boston Red Sox this season. But in July the 27-year-old tested positive for Covid-19. Feeling “100 years old,” he told reporters: “I’ve never been that sick in my life, and I don’t want to get that sick again.” His symptoms abated, but a few weeks later he felt so tired after throwing about 20 pitches during practice that his team told him to stop and rest.

Further investigation revealed that he had a condition many are still struggling to understand: Covid-19-associated myocarditis. Mr. Rodriguez won’t be playing baseball this season.

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