Coronavirus appears to be causing sudden strokes in younger adults who are otherwise asymptomatic or not severely ill.
Doctors are seeing this occur in COVID-19 patients in their 30s and 40s and believe blood clots are the culprit.
“The virus seems to be causing increased clotting in the large arteries, leading to severe stroke,” neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Oxley told CNN.
It is not common for someone that young to have a stroke.
Doctors at New York’s Mount Sinai Health System normally see less than 2 strokes per month for people under the age of 50. In the last two weeks they’ve treated five.
"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," Coxley added.
"All tested positive. Two of them delayed calling an ambulance."
Doctors believe young adults may be hesitant to call 911 due to the reports of hospitals being overrun by coronavirus patients.
Unfortunately, it’s crucial that stroke victims get treatment immediately.
“The most effective treatment for large vessel stroke is clot retrieval, but this must be performed within 6 hours, and sometimes within 24 hours,” Oxley wrote in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, reported the outlet.
Oxley urged people to be vigilant about noticing coronavirus symptoms and to call an ambulance if they think they’ve suffered a stroke.
An easy way to recognize the symptoms of a stroke is to use the mnemonic “FAST:” F for face drooping; A for arm weakness; S for speech difficulty, and T for time to call 911.