The novel coronavirus continues to baffle doctors and scientists. The COVID-19 infection that was originally characterised by symptoms such as fatigue, high fever, cough, and shortness of breath, is now believed to also become a cause of stroke in healthy and young patients, according to a doctor.

In an interview with CNN, Mount Sinai Health System neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Oxley revealed the shocking details. Doctors have hinted at the evidence of sudden strokes caused by blood clots in COVID-19 patients. Strokes are suggested to be an "expected consequence" of blood clots in otherwise healthy patients.

With reference to the details of five patients they treated at the facility, the doctors said that they were all under 50 and experienced mild to no symptoms of the contagious infection. Out of which, two delayed in calling the ambulance, possibly due to people's growing fear of hospitals treating patients of highly contagious disease COVID-19. And all of these five people tested positive for the virus.

"The virus seems to be causing increased clotting in the large arteries, leading to severe stroke," Oxley said. "Our report shows a seven-fold increase in the incidence of a sudden stroke in young patients during the past two weeks. Most of these patients have no past medical history and were at home with either mild symptoms (or in two cases, no symptoms) of COVID," he added.

The doctor notes suffering a stroke is not a very common thing among young and healthy people. Strokes in a person can leave the brain severely damaged.

"The most effective treatment for large vessel stroke is clot retrieval, but this must be performed within 6 hours, and sometimes within 24 hours," Oxley said.

The findings are set to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The doctor urges people to pay attention to the symptoms of COVID-19 and immediately call 911 if they feel they might be getting a stroke.

The report mentions FAST an acronym used as a mnemonic to help identify stroke symptoms. It refers to Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time to call emergency services.

Novel coronavirus
The US Centers for Disease Control warned Americans to prepare for a more ferocious second wave of infections. Photo: AFP / Johannes EISELE

"Up until now, people have been advised to only call for an ambulance with shortness of breath or high fever," the team of doctors wrote.