Just when you thought that having the Zika virus could not be any more deadly, it turns out that the virus may cause cardiac issues in some people. According to a study that will be presented at the latest annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology members, the Zika virus caused heart rhythm problems in eight out of nine adult patients. If that is not startling enough, six of the patients that had contracted Zika showed signs of heart failure.
Of the nine Zika infected patients that were included in the study, only one of these patients had heart issues before contracting the disease. All patients have continued to have heart problems well after the study was concluded. So if you thought that you were safe from the effects of the Zika virus just because you could not get pregnant, you were wrong.
However, there needs to be more studies aimed at shedding light on this matter of cardiac issues. So far the evidence in favor of a connection between the Zika virus and heart problems consists of nothing more than the eight cases that were used in the recent study, and this is not enough to prove a link. Despite this, the head of the study, Dr. Karina Gonzalez Carta, believes that as awareness about the link between heart problems and Zika increases so will the reported cases of Zika related heart problems.
Most people that are infected with Zika only show mild or no symptoms at all. The most common symptoms include fever, aches, an itchy rash or red eyes. Most attention has instead been focused on pregnant mothers afflicted with the disease. This may change as researchers are now noticing heart problems associated with other insect-borne diseases, such as dengue fever and chikungunya to name a couple.
Have you ever contracted an insect-borne disease from Central or South America?