Science

Zika Virus Could Have Harmful Heart Effects

By Rodney Rafols , Mar 11, 2017 03:11 AM EST
GUANGZHOU, CHINA - JUNE 21: An adult female mosquito is seen uder a microscope at the Sun Yat-Sen University-Michigan University Joint Center of Vector Control for Tropical Disease on June 21, 2016 in Guangzhou, China. Considered the world's largest mosquito factory, the laboratory raises millions of male mosquitos for research that could prove key to the race to prevent the spread of Zika virus. The lab's mosquitos are infected with a strain of Wolbachia pipientis, a common bacterium shown to inhibit Zika and related viruses including dengue fever. Researchers release the infected mosquitos at nearby Shazai island to mate with wild females who then inherit the Wolbachia bacterium which prevents the proper fertilization of her eggs. The results so far are hopeful: After a year of research and field trials on the island, the lab claims there is 99% suppression of the population of Aedes albopictus or Asia tiger mosquito, the type known to carry Zika virus. Researchers believe if their method proves successful, it could be applied on a wider scale to eradicate virus-carrying mosquitos in Zika-affected areas around the world. The project is an international non-profit collaboration lead by Professor Xi Zhiyong, director of the Sun Yat-Sen University-Michigan University Joint Center of Vector Control for Tropical Disease with support from various levels of China's government and other organizations. (Photo : Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

The Zika virus has been affecting many people. A new research shows that it can also have serious effects on the heart. The Zika virus could have harmful heart effects as well.

Data coming from the American College of Cardiology has shown that the Zika virus has more harmful effects. These harmful effects can cause heart issues in people not previously known to have it. Nine patients were seen at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Caracas, Venezuela have developed heart rhythm problems and at least two-thirds of them have evidence of heart failure after being affected by the Zika virus.

Other mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever have effects on the heart. The researchers though have been surprised by the severity of the heart effects of the Zika virus, as observed by Karina Gonzalez Carta, M.D., lead author of the study and a research fellow at Mayo Clinic as well as a cardiologist. Even for the small number of cases, the severity of the Zika virus' effect on the heart has already been noted.

Of the nine patients that have been seen, six of them were female. The average age of the patients was 47 years old. The symptoms associated with heart disease have been reported by the patients. These include shortness of breath, palpitations, and fatigue, according to Science Daily.

The patients also went through EKG. In the test, eight of the patients were found to have serious heart concerns. The patients then had to undergo further heart monitoring, which included an echocardiogram and a cardiac MRI study. Six cases have been found to have heart failure as well, as News Wise reports.

The patients have been monitored since July 2016. The heart conditions have not been resolved yet, though the symptoms have been improved after treatment. Dr. Carta has said that those who had Zika virus should be aware of the heart effects that it has.

The Zika virus has many effects, one of which affects the heart. The Zika virus could have harmful heart effects. A gene causing sudden death has recently been found.

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