COVID-19, the disease causing the coronavirus pandemic, has largely been associated with symptoms such as fatigue, a persistent cough, fevers and, recently, lesions. However, it may also cause strokes in patients under 50.
In an interview with CNN, Mount Sinai Health System neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Oxley said the virus is causing clots in arteries, resulting in "severe strokes."
"Our report shows a seven-fold increase in incidence of sudden stroke in young patients during the past two weeks," Dr. Oxley added. "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."
Fox News has reached out to Mount Sinai with a request for comment.
It's possible the patients, who are in their 30s and 40s and have mild symptoms associated with the disease, are less likely to seek urgent medical care and call 911 because of the influx of COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Oxley and colleagues tested five patients at the hospital, all with mild symptoms, and noted that they all tested positive for the virus, with two delaying in calling an ambulance.
Strokes are caused by a loss of blood to the brain and can result in severe damage, even death, if not treated right away, either by surgery or medication. Dr. Oxley said urgency is of the utmost importance if a stroke is suspected.
"The most effective treatment for large vessel stroke is clot retrieval, but this must be performed within six hours, and sometimes within 24 hours," Dr. Oxley told the news outlet.
The results of their findings are set to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
New York state is the most affected state in the U.S., accounting for 263,754 out of a total 842,754 cases in the country. New York City comprises 147,297 of those cases.
Neurological impairments in COVID-19 patients have been spotted elsewhere.
In an April 15 letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers in France spotted a small acute ischemic stroke in two asymptomatic patients. One other patient was diagnosed with a subacute ischemic stroke.
As of Thursday morning, more than 2.64 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, resulting in more than 184,000 deaths, including 46,785 in the U.S., the most impacted country on the planet.