At least 18 teens and young adults in Connecticut have shown symptoms of heart problems after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, Acting Health Commissioner Dr Deirdre Gifford said on Monday.
Gifford said all young adults hospitalized except one with signs of heart problems have been released. Four of these young residents were hospitalized at Yale New Haven Health and three at Connecticut Children’s.
“All of the cases that have been reported to us have been hospitalized, the vast majority for a few days,” Gifford said at the governor’s regular press conference on COVID-19 on Monday. “One person we know of is still in hospital. The other 17 have been sent home and are doing well.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they are investigating after a small number of teens and young adults report having heart problems after being vaccinated against COVID-19.
A CDC security committee posted a review last week to alert doctors to “myocarditis” in young people vaccinated after “relatively few” cases of unusual heart symptoms appear.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a press briefing on Monday that President Joe Biden had been made aware of the reported cases and that the administration would continue to advise young people to get vaccinated.
“Our health and medical experts continue to say that it is the right step for 12-15 year olds to get vaccinated, that these are limited cases and that, of course, the risks of contracting COVID are certainly significant, even for people of that age, ”Psaki said.
Health officials say the reported cases appear to be mild and typically begin within four days of the second dose of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
The CDC has not yet determined whether the vaccines were the cause of the reported heart disease.
“What is important to know and recognize is that the rates of myocarditis that we see are not higher than what we would normally experience,” Dr. Ted O’Connell told NBC San Diego. “So we don’t know whether this is associated with the vaccine or not.”
What are the symptoms of myocarditis?
In mild cases of myocarditis, common symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath.
In more severe cases, symptoms may include rapid or abnormal heart rhythms, shortness of breath during rest or physical activity, fatigue, and fluid retention with swelling of the limbs.
Mayo Clinic medical experts say myocarditis can be fatal if not treated immediately. Heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death can occur in severe cases.
What are the signs of myocarditis in children?
When children develop myocarditis, some signs and symptoms may include fever, fainting, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, and rapid or abnormal heart rhythms.
Health experts urge children and adults who may have any of these symptoms to seek immediate medical attention.
How to treat myocarditis?
In many cases of myocarditis, the inflamed heart disease may improve on its own.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say treatment focuses on the cause of the disease and symptoms, such as heart failure and shortness of breath.
Doctors recommend getting plenty of rest and taking medicine to fight the infection. Experts say that although antiviral drugs are available, they have not been shown to be effective in treating most cases of heart disease.