HARLINGEN, Texas — October 29 is World Stroke Day and doctors at Valley Baptist Medical Center remind the public that strokes are a very serious medical situation.

Doctors say people in the Rio Grande Valley are at an increased risk of a stroke due to high rates of obesity, hypertension and diabetes in our population.

Strokes are the fifth most common cause of death in the United States and the second most common cause of death in the world. Due to the pandemic more people than usual are experiencing strokes.

“COVID has actually decreased the average age of stroke in the Rio Grande Valley. Across the United States unfortunately, they are coming very late. They are ignoring the symptoms and they are coming in maybe two days late and then it is already too late for us to do anything.” said Dr. Ameer Hassan, Head of Neuroscience, Valley Baptist Medical Center.

The symptoms of a stroke are weakness of the face, arms and legs, confusion or trouble speaking, loss of vision and balance.

To know more about the dangers of a stroke click here.