Coronavirus May Cause This Devastating Side Effect In Young Adults, Doctors Warn

This is a pretty scary possible side effect of the virus.

Covid-19 Is Causing Strokes In Young Adults, Doctors Warn Of Coronavirus Getty

So far, doctors have believed that coronavirus has had a more mild impact on young adults, but now, they've learned new information that could change that belief.

Now that we're a few months into the outbreak in the United States, it seems like patients as young as 30 years old are suffering from strokes associated with COVID-19, which is definitely a scary prospect. 

Given thiat COVID-19 strokes are a pretty serious side effect of the virus — and definitely something people should be looking out for — here's all you need to know about this latest development.


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Five people in New York have had COVID-19 strokes along with mild coronavirus symptoms. 



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According to what Dr. Thomas Oxley, who works as a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai in New York, says that they've been seeing patients experiencing a stroke in their 30s and 40s — much younger than most stroke victims tend to be — and these patients have all tested positive for COVID-19. At the same time, they happen to be patients who are suffering from mild symptoms of coronavirus or even no symptoms at all. 


These strokes are caused by blood clotting.

The body's response to the virus could be causing blood to clot, and that's a factor that certainly leads to a stroke, no matter what has caused the clotting. Oxley says that the virus is causing clotting in the arteries in particular, which can bring on a severe stroke, and that can have devastating consequences. Out of five coronavirus patients who have had a stroke and are under 50 years old, one has died and the others have all required intensive care.

"The average person who has a large vessel stroke is severely impaired," he said. "It means it a bigger clot. It includes one of the largest arteries in the brain."

Strokes are otherwise very uncommon in these age groups.


Though strokes do sometimes happen in younger patients, approximately two thirds of all strokes happen in patients over the age of 65, which means it's pretty alarming to see this happen to people who are so young. While not everyone dies from a stroke, it can cause lifelong impairment and disabilities if not treated right away.

There's been a big increase in strokes in New York recently.

"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," Dr. Oxley said.

That's obviously a massive increase, especially in patients who are so young.


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It's Important to be treated quickly if you suspect you could be having a stroke.

Getting help quickly is important when it comes to a stroke — Oxley said that if a patient is treated and the clot is removed within six hours (sometimes in as many as 24), they can recover and experience less brain damage. Time is of the essence in this situation, so even though people are being careful not to call 911 if they're experiencing mild symptoms, this is definitely a time where calling is important.


If you or someone you love is showing signs of a stroke, get medical attention ASAP. 

Looking out for the signs of a stroke is important, too, especially in someone who seems to be experiencing COVID symptoms. For this, you can use the FAST method to know what to look for: "Face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call 911."

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.