Rubio and Klobuchar ask CDC to investigate reports of strokes in younger coronavirus patients

Senators’ letter to organisation asks for preliminary findings

Former CDC head warns we are just at beginning of pandemic

Senators Marco Rubio and Amy Klobuchar have written a joint letter asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to look into the risk of younger coronavirus patients having strokes.

In their letter, the two senators highlighted that “recent news reports have documented an increased prevalence of stroke among younger and middle-aged Covid-19 patients in hospitals and communities across the country”.

Mr Rubio, a Republican, and Ms Klobuchar, a Democrat, said in the letter to CDC director Robert Redfield that it is vital any information on the risk is established.

“We believe it is critical that the CDC evaluate the prevalence of stroke in Covid-19 patients, including the potential link to stroke from the development of blood clots caused by the virus,” they wrote.

“With over one million confirmed Covid-19 cases in the United States as of May 13, even a relatively low prevalence of stroke in this particular patient population could lead to a significant increase in the number of stroke patients in our country.”

The two senators asked the organisation if they have any preliminary findings on a link between coronavirus and strokes.

They also asked the CDC if they would update their stroke education handouts, so that healthcare professionals can use them as part of coronavirus advice.

Last month, Thomas Oxley, a New York based neurosurgeon, told CNN that he and his colleagues had witnessed an increase in strokes in younger patients.

“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,” he said.

However, other doctors have warned that coronavirus-related strokes can occur in patients of any age.

Dr Johanna T Fifi, based at Mount Sinai in New York and Dr Theresa Capriotti, based at Villanova University, told Heathline that younger patients are not the only ones having strokes.

“The coronavirus has been shown to cause development of microthrombi (small clots). These clots can travel to the lung and obstruct blood flow to the lung, which is called pulmonary embolism, or travel to brain circulation and cause ischaemic stroke,” Dr Capriotti said.

“It seems to be happening to those affected with severe Covid symptoms,” and added that “it can occur in any age group and it occurs suddenly,” she said.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 1.3 million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 84,136.

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