Football player Alphonso Davies is no longer available for Canada’s next World Cup match later this month after being diagnosed with heart muscle inflammation, following a recent COVID-19 hit.
Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann announced at a press conference in Germany on Friday that the team’s doctors had found signs of mild myocarditis in a follow-up examination on Thursday, after Davies tested positive for coronavirus on January 4.
“Myocarditis is not very strange based on ultrasound, but it is just a symptom of inflammation,” Nagelsmann said. “However, it takes time to heal and it will definitely take time.”
Davies’ assistant, Nick Househ, told TSN’s Rick Westhead that the 21-year-old national team leader – after receiving a vaccine after receiving encouragement in December – was feeling well but had not been in public for four weeks. He will do MRIs every week and the Bayern team doctors will monitor his progress.
Davies will miss three matches as Canada struggles to qualify for the men World Cup for the first time since 1986: in Honduras on Jan. 27, in Hamilton v. United States on Jan. 29, and El Elvvador Feb. 2.
Take a good look at what they are experiencing outside the field.
Q How does myocarditis relate to COVID-19?
A It is a very serious matter for COVID, says Dr. Diego Delgado, cardiologist at the University Health Network’s Peter Munk Cardiac Center. Many patients, he adds, recover without long-term consequences. “Chronic heart damage is very rare and is often seen in patients with heart disease.”
Q What are the symptoms?
A The most common symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath and heart palpitations, says Delgado, adding that most patients experience minor symptoms.
Q How is it known?
A There is no single test. Physicians look for physical tests, blood tests, electrocardiograms, echocardiograms and cardiac MRIs. Cardiac MRI is probably the most important, Delgado says.
Q Does the COVID-19 vaccine help?
A It can reduce the risk in some cases when a vaccinated person is diagnosed with myocarditis, says a doctor. Data published last week found that the incidence of post-vaccination myocarditis was twice as high as 100,000 doses.
Q How is myocarditis treated?
A In rare cases, with shortness of breath, proper hydration and sometimes anti-inflammatory drugs. Severe cases require antiretroviral therapy and / or corticosteroids.
Q How long does it take to recover?
A Usually two to four weeks, Delgado says.
Q What would a doctor need to see before removing a runner to return?
A Normal heart MRI and blood test results.
Q What are the risks of returning soon?
A Severe inflammation of the heart muscle, which can lead to irregular heartbeat. Delgado states: “It is extremely important that the patient be diagnosed and treated with the utmost care.”
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