Apr 25, 2020 - Health

Some young coronavirus patients are having severe strokes

In this image, two EMTs lift a patient on a stretcher into a van
Two health workers lift a patient to Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital on April 2 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A small number of young and middle-aged Americans have experienced strokes after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the Washington Post reports.

What's happening: The link between COVID-19 and strokes is being studied by researchers at Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, New York City's NYU Langone Health and the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan.

  • Although there are only "a few dozen cases" reported per hospital location, the ages of coronavirus patients experiencing severe strokes, from 33 to 49, are an anomaly to neurologists, the Post reports.
  • The median age for those experiencing severe strokes, like those that cause large blockages in the brain, is 74, per the Post. Strokes can occur at any age, according to the CDC, but risk increases with age.

The big picture: Clinicians are finding evidence that the coronavirus affects more than the lungs, the Post reported earlier this month. COVID-19 may be causing acute kidney disease, neurological malfunction, heart inflammation, blood clots, liver problems and intestinal damage.

  • Older people and those with underlying medical conditions, like diabetes and heart or lung disease, "seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19," the CDC warns.

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