The Corona Virus’ Effect on Athletes

October 16, 2020

The corona virus has become an intimate part of everyone’s life. The world of sports is not an exception to that, and the student athletes of Omaha Public Schools are feeling the effect after the cancellation of fall sports.

 

The effects of this virus on the body are still widely unknown, especially the long term effects. The lack of knowledge of how this could affect someone down the line led to the cancellation of fall sports for OPS, but there are some studies showing that COIVD-19 can have detrimental effects on an athlete.

 

The virus has affected Omaha less than most other cities of its size, but Omaha still has had nearly 40,000 cases. Many of the cases are from south Omaha, which is predominantly OPS.

 

OPS superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan had a tough choice to make, but many aided in the making of the decision.

 

“We work with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, they are our major partner,” Logan said. “We also consulted epidemiologists and physicians.”

 

These experts more than likely warned her of the many unknowns surrounding the virus, and the potential affects it can have on the students.

One of the most talked about diseases linked to the corona virus is myocarditis. Myocarditis is classified as an intense swelling of the heart that can lead to irregular heartbeat rhythms. A study from Ohio State found that roughly 15 percent of football players who contract COVID-19 have findings of heart swelling that can be attributed to myocarditis.

 

Myocarditis can lead to death in many cases and in many other cases can lead to hospitalization. It is estimated that 7-33 percentof people experience some form of cardiac injury by Dr. Dermot Phelan of Atrium Health’s Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute.

To further add to the data supporting COVID -19 having damaging effects to the heart, the University of Frankfurt in Germany preformed a study on survivors of the corona virus, and 75 percent of the patients had heart abnormalities of some degree.

 

Another health issue linked to the corona virus is damage to the brain and spine. Giuliani-Barre Syndrome is something that can develop from the virus, causing temporary paralysis. Simple brain functions can also be compromised, like thinking ability, not to mention the increased chance of having a seizure or stroke. There is also reason to believe that down the line, having had COVID-19 can increase the chance of having Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

It is also important to know that the body does not have to show symptoms to be affected by the virus. Many people who contracted the virus had heart inflammation to some degree. Heart inflammation is enough to end some athletes’ careers if it is severe enough

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