While COVID-19 is known as a respiratory infection, there’s emerging evidence linking it to heart damage, too.

Cardiologists are seeing patients with signs of inflammation and scar formation in their hearts even after recovery from COVID-19, experts say.

For that reason, anyone who plans on participating in vigorous exercise and was sick with COVID-19 for three or more days should get a cardiac screening before working out or participating in their sport, said Dr. Steven Erickson, medical director for Banner University Sports Medicine and Concussion Specialists in Phoenix.

“You don’t get sick with COVID-19 and stay home from school for a week and the next day go back and play two hours of soccer,” Erickson said.

“You’re taking a risk, and that is not what the medical community is recommending right now.” 

Having assessed seriously ill COVID-19 inpatients since March, Mayo Clinic in Arizona cardiologist Dr. Dawn Pedrotty said