The United States is one of the worst affected nations due to the coronavirus outbreak, and as per the latest statistics, the pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 59,200 people in the country alone.
Now, an autopsy from the remains of the first known coronavirus death in the United States has revealed that the patient has died due to a ruptured heart, triggered by the pathogen attack.
Coronavirus deaths started much earlier than previously thought
It was on February 6 that Patricia Dowd, a 57-year-old woman from San Jose, California died, after showing flu-like symptoms. A recent investigation into her death revealed that she contracted the COVID-19, and it indicates that coronavirus deaths in the US had started much earlier than previously thought.
In the initial days, medical experts believed that Dowd had died of a heart attack. But new analysis claims that coronavirus had spread to Dowd's heart muscles, and the infection caused a valve to rupture.
"The immune system was attacking the virus and in attacking the virus, it damaged the heart and then the heart basically burst," forensic pathologist Judy Melinek told Mercury News. It should be noted that this type of heart rupture usually occurs in people with high cholesterol levels or abnormalities in the heart muscles. However, Dowd had a healthy heart, and she used to exercise regularly before going sick.
Asymptomatic patients on the rise
In the meantime, medical experts are worried about asymptomatic patients who unknowingly become silent carriers of coronavirus. A few weeks back, a study conducted by a team of researchers in Iceland had suggested that more than half of the people contracted with coronavirus could be asymptomatic.
The study report from Iceland has made medical experts believe that the number of silent COVID-19 carriers in heavily populated countries like India could be much higher than the previous speculation. The study results also point to the vitality of conducting more testing to find asymptomatic patients.