Cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, appear to be prevalent among Big Ten athletes, said Penn State’s director of athletic medicine, impacting roughly one-third of all athletes who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Wayne Sebastianelli, who is also the team doctor for Penn State football, said Monday during a meeting of the State College Area School District board of directors that cardiac scans of Big Ten athletes who contracted COVID-19 showed “30 to roughly 35 percent of their heart muscles” indicated symptoms of myocarditis.

“And we really just don’t know what to do with it right now,” he said. “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.”

Myocarditis, which can be fatal, was a driver behind the Big Ten’s decision to postpone the coming season with the possibility to return this winter or spring.

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