Man says he's been having high heart rate since recovering from COVID-19

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston man says he's been experiencing issues with his heart rate since he contracted COVID-19, even a month after he tested negative.

Abner, 31, told Eyewitness News he's been closely monitoring his heart rate since first getting the virus. He tested positive on June 23.

He took another test in mid-July and received a negative result.

But now, he said he's still having heart problems.

"I've been experiencing increased heart rate, chest tightness, and; chest pain. I sometimes can't sleep at night because it just hurts," he said.

He said even what feels like a small task will result in an elevated heart rate. He said he tracks it with his smart watch.

"I check my watch and it says like 120 bpm and I'm like, 'Oh God, I just literally got to my car,'" Abner said.

He said he's adjusting.

"[I] just try to deal with it," said Abner. "You can't get up too fast. You can't do too much house work."

So what's the reasoning behind this? According to cardiologist at Houston Methodist Hospital Dr. Barry Trachtenberg, there have been quite a lot of patients with inflammation in the heart.

Doctors said they are still learning about COVID-19 but recent reports have shown the virus, even in mild cases, can cause damage to the heart.

"The vast majority of patients will get better, will clear the infection and the body's immune reaction to that infection will eventually get better," explained Trachtenberg. "That inflammation that you might see in the MRI will go away the majority of times, but in a minority of cases, patient's inflammation will turn to scarring."

Scarring could lead to arrhythmia or heart failure. Trachtenberg said it's important to monitor your health at all times and stay in touch with your doctor.

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