What happens to athletes who have contracted Covid-19? Even if they contracted it mildly? And the vaccine? The still unknown syndrome called long Covid can leave problems ranging from lack of concentration and memory, to anxiety, shortness of breath, difficulty running and walking.
A problem especially for those who practice sports, both at an amateur and competitive level. And the vaccine does not always guarantee protection, even net of the problems that the vaccine can leave. The vaccine can protect against hospitalization, and therefore is a great defense, but it is not known whether it has effects in long covid protection.
Sportspeople can also have long-term damage from the virus
Domenico Corrado, from the University of Padua and director of the Departmental Unit on genetic cardiomyopathies, is also director of the only master's degree in Sports Cardiology in Italy, said to Avvenire: "Sportspeople are an extraordinary observatory because we are talking about young people who are healthier, the most trained, even the most controlled.
It is on this experience that our observation on the post Covid is grafted today. We now see that for some athletes, subjects considered more or less invulnerable and with cardiovascular performance above the norm. Covid was however an important event.
To the experience already acquired on young people who can suddenly die from genetic diseases of the heart muscle, now is added the fact that the Sars-Cov2 virus can also cause myocarditis, or inflammation to the heart which in our cases accounts for 15% of the causes of sudden death Covid can leave absolutely unexpected results.
Obviously, the more severe the disease was from the pulmonary point of view and the greater the risk of developing a cardiovascular or other organ disease, but what we have seen is that even athletes who come out of an asymptomatic Covid can have important sequelae even after months of healing.
In the heart we find the scars left by myocarditis and from there we understand that during the acute Covid infection there was an important inflammatory event, which the athletes had not noticed, but whose myocardial damage remains.
What is particularly important to us is to define whether the scar can cause cardiac arrest under exertion. Highlighting a real risk factor leads to having to stop competitive activity forever. "