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Expert: COVID-19 can damage vital organs, even after patient recovers

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Health experts are continuing to learn more about the coronavirus and its impact on the human body. (Photo: KUTV)

Health experts are continuing to learn more about the coronavirus and its impact on the human body.

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New evidence is showing that the virus not only can damage the lungs but other vital organs as well. In some cases, that damage can lead to death.

Kevin Shah, a cardiologist with the University of Utah Health, said the virus can wreak havoc on the heart and the cardiovascular system.

Shah says at the beginning of the pandemic, the virus was associated with respiratory disease because the symptoms impacted the lungs.

Now, nine months into the pandemic, there's evidence that shows cases of severe infection and that the body's immune system can overcompensate its response--in some cases, this weakens the heart or causes fluid in the lungs.

Shah said he and cardiologists nationwide are seeing symptoms pop up later in patients who didn't go to the doctor in the early stages of their sickness.

"We’re seeing things that we haven’t seen in a long time so delayed presentations of heart attacks, heart failures, cardiogenic shock, even sudden cardiac death," he said.

Health experts are learning that a patient can develop a new cardiovascular problem even after they have recovered from the virus.

Shah said it's really important to pay close attention to the symptoms.

He says even if a patient recovered from COVID-19 at home and never went to the hospital, they should still see a doctor regularly and not ignore any new symptoms that may occur.

To read more about this, visit: healthcare.utah.edu