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New medical evidence links coronavirus and strokes

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Posted at 7:28 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-16 10:22:19-04

KALISPELL — Fever, chills and upper respiratory issues are all symptoms of coronavirus.

However, Dr. Kurt Lindsay who is a neurologist at Kalispell Regional Hospital told MTN that new medical findings suggest stroke could be another.

"With the new reports coming out of New York and that have been confirmed by some sites in Europe and LA we're seeing big stroke in young people which is very unusual," Dr. Lindsay said. "And it can be their initial presenting symptom of coronavirus."

Dr. Lindsay explained that this surprising connection between stroke patients and coronavirus is present in patients under sixty.

"We're seeing stroke in people in their 30's which is really unheard of," said Dr. Lindsay.

He added that in these cases stroke symptoms like partial paralysis, dizziness and trouble with communication can come on suddenly and with none of the traditional coronavirus symptoms. He explained that through scientific studies, coronavirus is known to excessively clot blood.

"A disease that causes blood clots you can potentially have those blood clots go to the brain and cause stroke," said Dr. Lindsay.

Dr. Lindsay explained that the medical field is still learning more about the relationship between the virus and stroke. While thankfully no one in the Flathead Valley has presented these symptoms, he added that if you have symptoms of a stroke get to the hospital immediately.

"We're seeing ER visits and hospitalizations down by 70 percent over the last two months," he said. "And it's not because people aren't having strokes, it's because they're not going to the hospital."

Dr. Lindsay reminds people who are scared of the virus at the hospital, that the hospital is thoroughly prepared for the virus and that it's a safe environment.