The flu virus can cause heart problems, the study says

The flu virus does not just affect the lungs

Photo: Shutterstock / Saúde em Dia

THE flu virus, for a long time could not cause much concern to the population. But with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, people began to fear and respect all kinds of infections much more. On top of all that, between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, Brazil was hit by a strong flu epidemic that made us look even more at the flu (the cause of the flu).

And it wasn’t just the Brazilians who started to study the flu virus better. So much so that in a study conducted at Ohio State University in the United States, the researchers found a possible link between the development of flu infections and heart problems.

According to an article in Science Advances last Wednesday (11.11), the flu virus has the ability to cause direct damage to the heart. Something that contradicts the previous claim that the possible heart problems caused by the flu were due to pneumonia.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers genetically modified the flu virus so that it could not multiply in the heart. Infecting mice in this way, they found that the animals did not develop any heart problems afterwards. From mice that received influenza without changes, it was possible to identify viral particles from their heart cells.

The vaccine can save your life

Because the experiments were performed only on experimental animals, it is still too early to say that the influenza virus would cause direct cardiac complications in humans. However, the hint is clear and cannot be ignored. Something that further reinforces the importance of the flu vaccine.

In Brazil, the number of people who have received the flu vaccine is still well below the 90 percent desired by the Ministry of Health. But the immunizer is still available in the Brazilian public health system. The second phase of the vaccination campaign even began on May 2nd. See who can already get their dose below:

  • Children from 6 months to 5 years;
  • Pregnant and postpartum women;
  • Indian people;
  • teachers;
  • People with other diseases;
  • Permanently disabled;
  • Security and rescue and armed forces;
  • Truck drivers and workers for urban and long-distance public transport passengers;
  • Dock workers;
  • prison system officials;
  • Young people aged 12-21 and young people in the context of socio-educational activities;
  • People deprived of their liberty.

Sources: Science Advances and Ministry of Health.

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