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COVID-19 could cause lasting heart damage, local doctor warns

COVID 19 impacts
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 9:35 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - While many recover from COVID-19 with little to no noticeable health setbacks, others are finding out they will have lasting effects.

What we do know about COVID-19, is people are getting sick, and some are recovering. What we don’t know, is all the lasting impacts it can have on your body.

“Believe me, you do not want to have what we have been seeing recently,” said Dr. Bassem Chehab with Ascension Via Christi in Wichita.

Dr. Chehab is the Medical Director for the Structural Heart Program at Ascension Via Christi, and says even if you aren’t hospitalized, you could have lasting heart damage.

“The unlucky people are being hit very bad and they are going to have to live with this for many, many years to come,” said Dr. Chehab.

Anything from heart failure, to acute or massive heart attacks and clotting. He’s seen patients anywhere from 18 to almost 90 years old, but says mainly it’s impacting middle-aged people.

Patients are being treated with either medication or pacemakers. In some cases, people are on a heart transplant list.

“People at a younger age think they are indestructible, everything is fine, they can weather any virus. But what we have found out so far is that COVID 19 is not a simple virus,” Dr. Chehab said.

He says it’s definitely not just the flu.

He says while people who do get COVID may not have heart issues, just because you are young or don’t have underlying issues, doesn’t mean you are immune.

“People should be very careful because you are just going to be gambling your life and your heart,” Dr. Chehab said.

Dr.Chehab says the majority of complications and deaths from coronavirus are heart-related.

He urges people to stay away from nonessential activities, wear a mask and social distance.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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