LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor G.E. Ghali told the Monroe News-Star that Letlow, 41, experienced the heart attack following a hospital procedure related to the virus.
“It’s devastating to our entire team,” Ghali told the outlet, adding that Letlow had no underlying conditions.
“It was just COVID,” the chancellor said.
LSU Health directed Fox News to Letlow family spokesperson Andrew Bautsch, who did not immediately respond to a request for more information.
Eight out of every 10 COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been in adults aged 65 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Adults between the ages of 40 and 49 are three times more likely to be hospitalized and 10 times more likely to die from the virus than a comparison group of adults between the ages of 18 and 29.
One July study published in MedRxiv found that the infection fatality rate (IFR) increased from 0.01% among 25-year-old adults to 0.4% at age 55, 1.4% at age 65, 4.6% at age 75 and 15% at age 85. Certain underlying medical conditions, however, can worsen COVID-19 cases.
It remains unclear why some young, healthy individuals experience severe symptoms and, occassionally, death. Experts have suggested that a healthy person’s genetic makeup may play into how individual bodies respond to the virus.
Dr. Oscar Mitchell, a fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, found that the survival rate among COVID-19 patients who experience heart attacks while being treated for COVID-19 remains very low but is near the survival rate for pre-pandemic patients who experienced heart attacks during procedures, according to a November press release.
“… Patients have a survival rate similar to what it was before the pandemic,” Dr. Benjamin Abella, one of the senior researchers on the study, said in a statement. “It demonstrates that our regular means of treating in-hospital cardiac arrest may still be effective in COVID-19 patients and we should consider it as something that is eminently survivable.”
The CDC recommends people wear masks while around others, frequently wash hands, stay socially distanced from others, keep hands away from their faces and disinfect surfaces to avoid contracting COVID-19.
Letlow’s friend and former campaign chairman described the incoming congressman as “a true servant” in an interview with the News-Star.
“American politics is dominated by people who are always seeking attention; Luke doesn’t care who gets the credit,” Franklin said during the campaign. “That’s the mark of a true leader; a true servant.”