• Tanika

COVID-19 linked myocarditis amongst athletes

Updated: May 12, 2021

The coronavirus disease has been the center of talk for many people throughout the past year. Although it's been known that the younger population had less to worry about when it came to battling COVID-19, now researchers are beginning to find out that might not be true. New medical studies have shown that young athletes that still participate in a strenuous activity after being diagnosed with COVID-19 put them at risk for developing a heart disease called myocarditis.

In order to discover the links between myocarditis and COVID-19 in young athletes both terms should be unpacked and understood in order to further understand this topic.

Myocarditis: a rare inflammatory disorder of the myocardium in the heart that can cause heart failure.

Coronavirus(COVID-19): An infectious disease caused by a coronavirus that is mostly known to affect the respiratory system.

According to a small Ohio State University study, that 15% of the collegiate athletes tested with COVID-19 also showed evidence of having myocarditis.


  • Limited research as it is a newly developed condition

  • Person contracts COVID-19 from somebody else via close personal contact with that person.

  • During the Ohio State Study, researchers believed that exercising while infected with the virus increases the risk of getting myocarditis.

  • Causes viruses to replicate at a faster rate when exercise is being done.


  • Affects the electrical system and myocardium which in result reduces the heart's ability to pump properly.

  • Some may not experience symptoms

  • Chest pains or tightness

  • Shortness of breath

  • Arrhythmias

  • Fever

  • Fainting

  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest (10-20% of sudden death cases in young athletes)

Preventive Care:

  • Avoid close contact with people with viral or flu-like symptoms until fully recovered.

  • Follow good hygiene

  • Avoid risky behaviors

  • Get vaccinated

  • Avoid exercise if tested COVID-19 positive

Here are some methods of testing physicians do in order to diagnose myocarditis within patients.

  • Chest radiography

  • Electrocardiogram

  • Laboratory studies

  • Endomyocardial biopsy (heart biopsy)

  • Echocardiogram

  • Cardiac MRI

In many cases of COVID-19 linked myocarditis in young athletes, the patient is usually able to recover and return to athletic activities within about 8 months of proper therapy. But, in some cases, symptoms may worsen or barely improve due to the severity of COVID symptoms and the amount of tissue damage in the heart and lead to, heart failure, placement of a pacemaker, or heart transplantation.

If you are an athlete and experience any unusual respiratory issues or if you just been diagnosed with COVID-19 it is recommended you check with your physician to ensure early detection of myocarditis. The earlier the myocarditis is detected and treated the healthier you will be able to return to action. Researchers mention that new studies and research are on their way to getting published and should develop a better understanding of this condition.