Jul 9, 2013 6:57 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

KATC Answers Your Questions: Viral Cardiomyopathy

Randy Travis remains in critical condition, battling what's called Viral Cardiomyopathy. The 54-year-old was just in Acadiana a few weeks ago, shooting a movie in St. Martinsville. He was rushed to the hospital this weekend in Texas, where he's being treated tonight.

As the name implies, Viral Cardiomyopathy is caused by a virus and things as simple as the common cold.

"Any kind of viral infection can pre-dispose you to it, so a simple common cold or upper respiratory infection normally runs it's course, can in some people cause a weakening of the heart muscle," explains Dr. Louis Salvaggio, who's a Cardiologist at the Cardiovascular Institute of the South.

Dr. Salvaggio says Viral Cardiomyopathy is not common. He's seen only two cases in the last three years.

"Usually what happens is a week or two after the infection if you do develop a Cardiomyopathy, you start to develop shortness of breathe, fatigue, trouble doing your normal activities," Dr. Salvaggio said.

In the summer months, mosquito born viruses are often a concern in Acadiana. With Travis recently spending time in St. Martin Parish some have asked, could his condition been caused by a mosquito bite?

"Likely not, everybody is concerned in this area with West Nile virus, it's more so associated with Meningitis, lower risk associated with Cardiomyopathy.

Viral Cardiomyopathy is serious and can lead to heart failure. In severe cases, it will require surgery.




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