A Virus Like Any Other


Maybe that’s not a good thing.

Run-of-the-mill influenza sometimes causes heart problems and can cause death. The conventional wisdom has been that the underlying cause of heart issues is severe inflammation of the lungs.

New research from labs at Ohio State indicates that this conventional wisdom is wrong. By genetically altering the flu virus, researchers were able to show that the flu cannot harm the heart unless it can directly infect it. Lung inflammation is insufficient of itself to cause major heart damage.

Instead, the Ohio State University study revealed, the electrical malfunctions and heart scarring seen in some of the sickest flu patients are caused by direct influenza infection of cardiac cells.

Science Daily(1)

This in turn raises a number of issues that had not been considered:

  • What areas of the heart are most vulnerable to flu?
  • How should we be testing for the presence of the flu virus…

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