Health care professionals have noticed a recent increase in treatment for sudden strokes in young adults, and they worry it's a result of the coronavirus. Doctors at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City reported that they typically treat less than two strokes per month in patients under 50 years old, but during a two-week-period amidst the coronavirus pandemic, they've treated five. They believe this increase is a result of the blood clotting in unusual ways, which can cause sudden stroke in people who are for the most part in good health. “The virus seems to be causing increased clotting in the large arteries, leading to severe stroke,” neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Oxley noted.

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“Our report shows a seven-fold increase in incidence of sudden stroke in young patients during the past two weeks. 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,” Oxley said. “All tested positive. Two of them delayed calling an ambulance." These findings of potential evidence that coronavirus is causing this irregular blood clotting will be published in a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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This potential evidence poses a problem in New York especially, since officials have advised residents against calling 911 unless they begin experiencing severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, in order to avoid overwhelming ambulance services. Oxley and his team are urging people to monitor their condition for symptoms of coronavirus and to call 911 if they believe they’ve suffered a stroke. He also referred to the mnemonic device to remember warning signs for strokes, "FAST": F for face drooping, A for arm weakness, S for speech difficulty, and T for time to call 911.