Covid news: Virus trigger ‘heart failure pandemic’ as experts send huge warning | World | News

December 27, 2023
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The explosive increase in new Covid cases could trigger a “heart failure pandemic” with experts sending a huge warning about a new and worrying “global healthcare risk”.

Several countries, including the UK, US and China, have seen a surge in Covid infections over recent weeks, largely due to the influx of a new strain known as JN.1. Health experts are warning this will increase the chances of potential heart issues for those who catch it.

But a new report from scientists at Japan’s top research institute, Riken has warned the ACE2 receptors that coronavirus clings to within human cells are “very common” in the heart, and many of those who had or have the virus suffer from “reduced cardiac function”.

The reason behind this remains unclear, but the report claims the Covid pandemic may have significantly changed the situation as those at risk of future heart failure due to “persistent infection of SARS-CoV-2 is expected to exponentially increase”.

It says: “Even though conclusive clinical evidence that persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with declined cardiac function has not been reported so far, the proof-of-concept study of the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 persistent infection of the heart and the potential risk of opportunistic progression of heart failure should be validated by a three-dimensional human cardiac tissue model which would serve as the alarm bell for a global healthcare risk.”

READ MORE: Contagious new Covid variant spikes across US making up to 44 percent of all cases

Riken Research Leader Hidetoshi Masumoto said: “Some people infected with Coronavirus may have persistent viral infections in their hearts.

“A testing system and treatment methods must be established in preparation for a ‘heart failure pandemic,’ in which we will see a rapid increase in the number of heart failure patients.

“The explosive increase in the number of virus-infected patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have led to an enormous increase in the number of patients at potential risk for future heart failure.

“These patients would be predicted to maintain cardiac function superficially despite being at marginal risk.”

The latest warning comes with Covid cases significantly spiking in the US as millions of people prepared to travel for the holiday season, with the fast-spreading JN.1 variant making up 44 percent of all cases nationwide.

The latest analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows this has more than doubled from its share earlier this month.

Officials are now worried that combined with a rising number of flu cases, there could be a large uptick in illnesses this winter – especially ahead of crowded social events for New Year’s celebrations.

Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist and director for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said to KIRO7: “JN.1, which we’re now seeing, is one that clearly is spreading very quickly around the world.

“And there’s evidence that it is actually causing (an) increased number of illnesses. And particularly in some who have already had Covid before or may have been vaccinated before.”



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