Dr. Oz calls coronavirus a 'chameleon' amid reports of patients suffering heart damage

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here

Heart damage in COVID-19 patients is indicative that the deadly virus acts like a chameleon, Dr. Mehmet Oz said Wednesday.


Appearing on "Fox & Friends" with hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade, Oz – a heart surgeon – said that there's a well-recognized complication from the virus called a cytokine storm, which closes off blood vessels and leads to vascular collapse and heart attacks.

"A lot of these patients are dying from problems – even when the virus is not that big of a problem – because their body is overreacting to the virus," he explained. "There's a civil war going on."

Oz estimated that the heart muscle itself is being attacked in probably 20 percent of COVID-19 patients.

"And people are hospitalized and are sick. And so, the cardiomyopathy that occurs – the inability of the muscle to squeeze normally – is different from all of the other things we've been talking about," he stated further.

"And we didn't know that [was] even happening until — I mean, I didn't think about it until last week. And now, it's becoming more and more evident as a chronic issue," Oz remarked.

"This virus is a chameleon. It presents in many different ways. For example, a lot of people have intestinal problems and that's their only problem. A lot of people only lose their sense of taste and smell. And other folks have [a] fever, cough, and more classic things," he told the "Friends" hosts.


"This heart thing is a newfound, a newly observed reality, but something we have to be cautious about because it complicates the management of the lungs," Oz warned.