Penn State clarifies prior comments from team doctor on myocarditis impact on B1G student-athletes
The Penn State team doctor who made headlines for his recent comments regarding the impact myocarditis has had on student-athletes across the B1G who tested positive for COVID-19 has clarified his statements.
Per the Centre Daily Times, Penn State director of athletic medicine Wayne Sebastianelli recently spoke during a State College Area school board of director meeting and provided some insight on the connection between COVID-19 and myocarditis. Per Sebastianelli, between 30 and 35 percent of B1G athletes who tested positive for the virus also appeared to have myocarditis.
However, Penn State released a statement on Thursday, saying Sebastianelli wanted to clarify his comments and apologize for any confusion. Kyle Bonagura of ESPN shared the message:
Dr. Sebastianelli was asked by a local school board to discuss high school preparations and precautions for holding sporting events during the pandemic and the potential impact of COVID-19 on the health of student-athletes. During his discussion with board members, he 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. 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. For questions related to the myocarditis study, please contact the study investigators.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that can be fatal if gone undetected. B1G commissioner Kevin Warren has stated that the uncertainty surrounding the condition was one of the factors in the conference’s decision to postpone the football season.
Initially, Sebastianelli stated that approximately one-third of student-athletes in the B1G who tested positive for COVID-19 experienced myocarditis.
“When we looked at our COVID-positive athletes, whether they were symptomatic or not, 30 to roughly 35 percent of their heart muscles (are) inflamed,” Sebastianelli said. “And we really just don’t know what to do with it right now. It’s still very early in the infection. Some of that has led to the Pac-12 and the Big Ten’s decision to sort of put a hiatus on what’s happening.”
Also on Thursday, FootballScoop.com reached out to multiple B1G schools to ask about the validity of Sebastianelli’s comments. Six schools responded, saying it was not what they were experiencing on their campuses among student-athletes.