UPDATE: A clarification was issued by Penn State university the doctor was unintentionally citing outdated numbers.
“During his discussion with board members, (Sebastianelli) recalled initial preliminary data that had been verbally shared by a colleague on a forthcoming study, which unbeknownst to him at the time had been published at a lower rate,” said Scott Gilbert, a spokesman for the school’s health department said. “The research was not conducted by Dr. Sebastianelli or Penn State. Dr. Sebastianelli wishes to clarify this point, and apologize for any confusion.
“Additionally, some have inferred his comments may have related directly to Penn State student athletes. At this time, there have been no cases of myocarditis in COVID-19 positive student-athletes at Penn State.”
A good reminder to stay updated and look for balanced references as more information on COVID-19 continues to emerge. Thanks to everyone who alerted us of the updated statement.
It’s concerning to read that 30-35% of Big Ten athletes with COVID-19 have myocarditis symptoms. This inflammation of the heart muscle, which can cause arrhythmia or death, led to the decision by the Big Ten to postpone their upcoming season. “We don’t know how long that’s going to last. What we have seen is when people have been studied with cardiac MRI scans — symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID infections — is a level of inflammation in cardiac muscle that just is alarming,” said Wayne Sebastianelli, team doctor for Penn State football.