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Viral Infections affecting the heart
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Viral Infections affecting the heart

In the last two years, two people at my company have died due to a viral infection that weakened their heart, and as a result they died a few days after being released from the hospital.  The second person just passed away in the last couple of weeks.

I don't know much about the detail of each of their conditions, but in each case they thought they had a really bad case of the flu.  Their doctor's told them to go to the hospital immediately.  I believe that they were told that there was a 50/50 chance of living when they were released because their heart was weaked by a virus.  Of course, both died.

Is their a specific viral infection that affects the heart?  And if so, is it more likely that you will die from it if your immume system or heart isn't healthy?  Is this something that is contagious?  

I have never heard of this before until my friend died two years ago.  And then this latest person in my company who died just a couple of weeks ago.  Both were male. One was 33 yrs old and the other was in late 40s.

Could you please provide some information on this subject for my understanding?
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238671_tn?1189759432
This is an unusual situation. Viral infections such as HIV can definitely affect and weaken the heart. Other viruses are theorized to affect the heart and possibly cause dilated cardiomyopathy, though the role of these other viruses is less clear and remains speculative. I cannot think of any viral infection that would be contagious and lead to heart failure in your company.
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Susan,
I am not a doctor but have personal experience with infection in or around the heart.  This past summer my husband had what turned out to be infectious pericarditis(Caused by Staph Ent. bacteria that entered his blood system from a deep leg wound that he was not aware of because of peripheral nueropathy.)  It took the doctors a while to diagnose this infection as bacterial-He had been treated with oral antibiotics and these prevented positive blood cultures for more than seven days.)  Before this culture, the cardiologist thought it was Coxsackie Virus which can cause Pericarditis, Myocarditis, and Endocarditis.  He was transferred to a well respected Heart Transplant Hospital for evaluation and possible heart transplant.  In this hospital, there were several young people awaiting heart transplant due to severe viral myocarditis.  So there must be viruses that cause severe heart damage that can lead to death in young people.  And one that I am personnally aware of is the above mentioned Coxsackie Virus which is contagious.  If it is viral, there exists no medication to cure the infection, and only palliative treatment with aspirin(or other anti-inflammatory)and heart failure medications.
Sincerely,
Ginny
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Susan,
I am not a doctor but have personal experience with infection in or around the heart.  This past summer my husband had what turned out to be infectious pericarditis(Caused by Staph Ent. bacteria that entered his blood system from a deep leg wound that he was not aware of because of peripheral nueropathy.)  It took the doctors a while to diagnose this infection as bacterial-He had been treated with oral antibiotics and these prevented positive blood cultures for more than seven days.)  Before this culture, the cardiologist thought it was Coxsackie Virus which can cause Pericarditis, Myocarditis, and Endocarditis.  He was transferred to a well respected Heart Transplant Hospital for evaluation and possible heart transplant.  In this hospital, there were several young people awaiting heart transplant due to severe viral myocarditis.  So there must be viruses that cause severe heart damage that can lead to death in young people.  And one that I am personnally aware of is the above mentioned Coxsackie Virus which is contagious.  If it is viral, there exists no medication to cure the infection, and only palliative treatment with aspirin(or other anti-inflammatory)and heart failure medications.
Sincerely,
Ginny
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238671_tn?1189759432
Bacterial pericarditis is very rare, but often lethal; it is not contagious. Viral causes of myocarditis and cardiomyopathy are likely, though the exact role of viruses in this setting is still a matter of debate and speculation. I would not categorize dilated cardiomyopathy as contagious. The viruses that are hypothesized to cause some cases of dilated cardiomyopathy are common, yet dilated cardiomyopathy is still relatively rare in comparison. Thus, there is no good reason for Susan to believe that there is a risk of viral transmission of cardiomyopathy in her workplace.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.I was born with a heart murmur.I have always been curious
about the human heart.Once in a while I have chest pains that
hurt real bad.Sometimes the pain is so intense it makes me
drop to the ground holding my chest.It scares my mom to the point
she wants me to go through the surgery to fix my heart. I am not
so sure I need it.I have never went through such an ordass deal.
I don't think I need it done. The past year I have had more chest pains than usual.I am constantly tired,I get shortened
of my breath easier,and I never seem to have enough energy.Mom says the doctor told her that those were all signs of my heart
acting up.I think I am just low on iron and need to eat healthier.I really don't want any kind of surgery done.I think
I'm ok.It scares me a little to know I could be wrong.What
should I do?
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Avatar_n_tn
My dad had the "flu" a couple months ago and has not had any energy since. He went to see a doctor and after running some tests, the doctor said he thinks my dad had a mild heart attack- not the flu.  I'm not sure what kind of tests were taken (but something about a "Q" reading..?), and the doctor will be performing a stress test next week for more information.

I keep reading about how people who get these "silent" heart attacks have close to a 50% survival ratio within the next year or two and this deeply concerns me.  My dad is in his mid-fifties, doesn't smoke, lifts weights at the gym, golfs, and is recently retired.

Will his life expectancy be severly shortened? What questions should we ask the doctor?  At this point the doctor told my dad to lose 20 pounds and walk 15 miles each week.  Without further testing, is this wise?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have just been released from hospital after admission with severe chest pain, I was given a lot of tests and they have come up with ? viral pericarditus, awaiting the virus results, I have had several ct scans and other scans nothing has been found apart from a raised amylase level of 800 which dropped to 450 then on discarge up to 650.
Iam a little confused as to what is going on, I am to recieve follow ups and an echocardiogram, I mainly get pain on waking up in the morning, but once I have taken medication (pain killer and anti inflam) I am ok, perhaps the only other complaint is just a feeling of tiredness and feeling fragile.
any ideas why the amylase level should be raised it is worrying me. Iam a 47 year old man, normally of good health.
My email address is: ***@****
thanks for any advise.
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Avatar_n_tn
hello, I'm a 26 year old who was diagnosed when I was 18 with raynaud's then when I was 22 diagnosed with cardiolipin syndrom (syndrome) which is a clotting disorder and was put on warfarin.  I plan on having a baby and my doctor told me it should be ok just call when I decide when and go off my medication but wait a full month. should I worry about being off my medication and just monitor my self? And also has any body who's been on the warfarin therapy have a healthy and risk free pregnacy?
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