Fallout from the Zika outbreak continues, most recently causing concern that adults who were infected with the mosquito-borne virus may be at an increased risk of heart failure and a heart rhythm abnormality called atrial fibrillation, according to a prospective observation from multiple centers involved in treating the outbreak in Venezuela.
The study focused on nine people who exhibited new-onset cardiovascular symptoms within two weeks of initial confirmed Zika infection. Six were women and three were men. Eight experienced arrhythmia and six were diagnosed with heart failure. In three cases, the arrhythmias were acute with non-sustained atrial tachycardia in two and ventricular arrhythmias in two others.
Of the six diagnosed cases of heart failure, one patient was pregnant and had preeclampsia, a condition in pregnant women marked by dangerously high blood pressure posing a risk to both mother and her unborn child.
None of the patients in the study had known heart disease or tested positive for other mosquito-borne viruses known to affect the heart before becoming infected with Zika.
“We know other mosquito-borne diseases can affect the heart, so we anticipated that the same might be true for Zika,”said Dr. Karina Gonzalez Carta, with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
At least one person infected with Zika died from systemic collapse with bradycardia, an abnormally slow heart rhythm. And, a stillborn infant with Zika virus was found to have hydrops fetalis, a serious condition in which abnormal amounts of fluid build up in two or more areas of a fetus or newborn.
“While we anticipated that we would see cardiovascular effects from Zika, we were surprised at the severity of findings,” Carta added.
Source: MedPage Today