If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or swollen feet and ankles following a bout of flu or viral infection, you should see a doctor to rule out a potentially fatal heart condition called viral myocarditis.
People with mild viral myocarditis may feel no symptoms at all or they may experience a heart attack or severe heart failure (dilated cardiomyopathy) as the condition worsens.
“Viral myocarditis may be the cause for a significant number of unexplained sudden deaths in seemingly healthy young people,” says Associate Professor Lim Chong Hee, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), a member of the SingHealth Group.
Patients with viral myocarditis may be mistaken as having the flu because of the initial flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue and heart palpitations, adds Assoc Prof Lim, who is also Director of the Heart and Lung Transplant Programme at NHCS.
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