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Heart Virus
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Heart Virus

My dad (62 years old - non smoker - healthy person) just had a heart problem in the airplane flying from Europe to New York. They thought he had a heart attack and was maintained for 8 hours under oxygen. He was then brought to a hospital in Boston where they run all the necessary tests. Apparently he had some kind of heart virus.
I would like to know if this happens currently in airplanes and how severe it is and could it have consequences on his general health.
Many thanks in advance for your kind answers and advice.
With very best regards
Diane
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Hi Diane,

Sorry to hear about your dad's experience.  Medical problems on airplanes, especially long flights, can be hair raising.

I am not sure what to tell you about the "heart virus."  There aren't many viruses that attack the heart.  The ones that do can leave some very long last effects -- they are not 4-8 hour ordeals.

I am not sure if the doctors were trying to simplify their diagnosis to something they thought you might understand, but I cannot tell you what happened based on that information.

On a  good note, most airplanes now have defibrillators, so if someone is in real trouble and develops a life threatening arrhythmia, at least they can treat it.

If you think there is a problem with his heart, have him seen by a cardiologist.  You should be able to get a straight answer on whether this was a cardiac problem or not.

Sorry I cannot be more helpful.  Good luck.
2 Comments
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He may have had an infection of the heart called myocarditis which is caused by a viral, bacterial or other type of bpodily infection. The heart muscle becomes inflamed and can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. This is a very uncommon disorder and usually produces no symptoms.

Since you said your dad is a very healthy person odds are he will suffer no ill efects from it, but if he is concerned he may want to have an echo and EKG done just to make sure.
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