There are growing concerns about the effects of COVID-19 possibly lingering long after recovery.
Now, a new study shows the virus could cause lasting damage to one of the most important organs: your heart.
The small study from Germany showed a significant impact.
Researchers looked at MRI scans of 100 COVID-19 patients two months after they recovered.
They found 78% had heart abnormalities, 60% had inflammation in the heart.
And this was independent of any preexisting conditions.
Some doctors suspect this is collateral damage from high levels of inflammation caused by the virus.
They must do more research, but this could be a sign some patients will need ongoing care, or at least to be monitored well after they recover.
Cardiologists say for now, the best thing you can is do what you can to help to limit the spread of the virus, such as wearing masks and keeping physical distance, and, keep your heart healthy.
"It's very important that patients control their cholesterol, their diabetes, try and exercise and don't smoke, all the usual things, but that we all know have become incredibly difficult in the COVID-19 era," says cardiologist Dr. Paul Cremer of the Cleveland Clinic.
All of the patients in the study survived.
But just Wednesday, Doctor Anthony Fauci, in an interview for the Harvard Public Health Forum, revealed a relative's 32-year-old brother died due to cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle, brought on by COVID-19.
He says most people who get seriously sick are older and with chronic medical problems, but there are these outliers --young, healthy people -- who die from the infection.
And unfortunately, we still don't why, however, it is one more reason to help limit the spread, to protect everyone.
Study: COVID-19 may cause long-term heart damage
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