Some doctors in New York have warned that COVID-19 might cause sudden strokes in adults in their 30s and 40s who aren’t otherwise seriously ill.
Those patients, doctors said in a new report this week, might not call the hospital or 911 because they have heard that medical facilities are overwhelmed with patients. The researchers have found that COVID-19, caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, might cause blood to clot in some patients, leading to a stroke or other health problems.
Dr. Thomas Oxley, a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, told CNN that he and his colleagues treated five people under the age of 50 who had mild symptoms of the virus or no symptoms at all.
“The virus seems to be causing increased clotting in the large arteries, leading to severe stroke,” Oxley said.
He added: “Our report shows a seven-fold increase in incidence of sudden stroke in young patients during the past two weeks. Most of these patients have no past medical history and were at home with either mild symptoms (or in two cases, no symptoms) of Covid.”
Oxley said that they “all tested positive” for the CCP virus, and “two of them delayed calling an ambulance.”
Elaborating further, Oxley said he and his colleagues usually record fewer than two strokes per month in people who are aged 50 or under. However, in two weeks, they have treated five stroke patients.
They will publish their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine in the near future, he said.
Strokes in general and large-vessel strokes, namely, aren’t common among people between the ages of 30 and 40.
“For comparison, our service, over the previous 12 months, has treated on average 0.73 patients every 2 weeks under the age of 50 years with large vessel stroke,” Oxley and his colleagues wrote to the New England Journal of Medicine, according to CNN.
Oxley added that the best treatment “for large vessel stroke is clot retrieval, but this must be performed within 6 hours, and sometimes within 24 hours,” meaning that for those who delay treatment, it could be fatal or life-altering.
His comments come after some doctors said that skin rashes may also be a rare symptom of the CCP virus, a type of novel coronavirus that emerged last year in Wuhan, China.
Dr. Joanna Harp, a dermatologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, told ABC News about COVID-19 patients having red rashes legs, arms, and buttocks.
“It is not yet known what causes the clotting tendency in these patients, but there is some suggestion that the virus may overstimulate the immune system in certain patients,” Harp explained. “And this overzealous immune response could somehow trigger a downstream clotting tendency.”