Viral Infection of the Heart
Viral Infection out of viral diseases has been a grave and serious subject of study for decades. The cardiovascular system could be acutely or mildly damaged by the infection depending on the intensity of the disease. There are several illness and complications related to viral heart infections such as congestive heart failure, acute myocarditis and inflammatory dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). No matter what the modern medical technology has achieved, viral infections of the heart are challenging to diagnose and treat even to this day.
How do the viral infections affect the heart?
- Firstly, and most commonly, a plausible way of a virus attacking the cardiovascular system is entering into the mature heart and disrupting its structural and functional levels.
- A study has shown that about 50% of fetuses that have been exposed to mother’s rubella during the first month developed congenital anomalies. A major part of such anomalies concerns the heart.
- For patients with the underlying pulmonary disease, the risk of getting a viral infection is even higher. This is because the viral infection of the heart may induce systemic pulmonary hypertension which in turn could lead to heart failure.
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What is viral myocarditis?
Viral myocarditis is known to affect men under the age of 40 the most. It occurs less in women or the condition is less severe. However, 5 to 20% of the sudden unexpected cause of deaths of many people, especially men, is due to viral myocarditis. It is indicated by the damage and inflammation of a person heart’s muscle. The heart disease of myocarditis is most commonly caused by a viral infection. The upper respiratory tract infections are the most widely known causes of the infection, but other causes could come from cocaine, exposure to toxic agents, spider bites, and snake poison.
What is pericarditis?
Another heart infection known as pericarditis is the inflammation of the protective sac around the heart known as the pericardium. In many cases, the cause of a common pericarditis is not found but the most common cases suggest that it is a virus. This infection is often mistaken for pleurisy which is the inflammation of the membrane of the lungs and rib cage. The pain gets worse if one lies down or takes a deep breath, yet usually goes away with the proper amount of rest.
What are the symptoms of a heart infection?
There are many viral infections that are known to cause no symptoms. Therefore, many obvious symptoms may go unnoticed. Some of them are as follows:
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling or joint or leg pain
- Chest pain
Treatment of heart infection includes the following medication:
- anti-inflammatory medicines for the reduction of swelling in the heart
- diuretics to eliminate excess edema and water
- antiviral agents to treat the infection
Apart from the medication routine, there are certain lifestyle changes that doctors could recommend to minimize the chances of getting a severe infection or reduce the current one’s impact. Some of them include a low-salt diet and decreasing the physical workloads, which are highly beneficial against heart problems. The doctors may even prescribe medications to reduce the abnormal heartbeats and minimize the chances of a blood clot in case there has been an acute heart damage.
Usually, people who have developed a viral heart infection are likely to exhibit flu-like symptoms. Hence, it is necessary, in case testing leads to a diagnosis, that the patients work closely with their respective doctors to develop an elaborate treatment plan. The cause of heart infection could be a lot of things; hence, it is crucial to monitor the symptoms closely.
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