Doctors concerned over COVID-19′s impact on kids

Virus known to cause inflammation in hearts

Doctors concerned over COVID-19's impact on kids

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With many kids in our area starting hybrid learning, parents have more questions about how COVID-19 affects children.

While coronavirus is commonly known as a lung issue, the American Heart Association said it can involve the heart as well.

It’s not just adults who are having their hearts affected by COVID-19, though; kids are too.

In fact, Dr. Nancy Sweitzer, director of the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona, is currently focusing on myocarditis in children, which can cause severe chest pain and inflammation of the heart.

There’s still a lot to be studied, but what they’ve found so far is that some who have recovered from the virus may show signs of heart damage weeks or months after feeling better.

They’re also seeing this inflammatory response in some children that were perfectly healthy before getting COVID-19.

“The biggest problem with young people is that children get myocarditis at a particular rate. It’s a disease that affects kids. So when a kid shows up with myocarditis right now, it’s often really hard to tell if it’s myocarditis caused by COVID or myocarditis caused by something else,” Sweitzer said.

Doctors across the country are seeing this more and more as schools open.

That’s why they’re encouraging parents to focus on prevention.

Even though children don’t always make it easy, frequent hand washing, social distancing, and wearing a mask is very important for them too.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.