Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Malaria Vivax Causing Heart Attacks?

Malaria vivax (caused by the usually more indolent plasmodium vivax) is causing a stir in India because of a rash of what sounds like disseminated intravascular coagulation affecting the coronary arteries:
Blood clotting due to malaria till now was seen to occur only in small vessels. An artery getting clogged in new," he said.

At the Hinduja Hospital, five cases of heart trouble induced by malaria vivax have been treated in the past ten days. Chest specialist Dr Khusrav Bajan said, "Normally we have malaria vivax-positive patients coming in with high fever and body ache.

But this time, almost 30 per cent patients are coming with heart problems, severe breathlessness and restlessness. Some had suffered heart attacks too. Echo clearly indicated depressed heart functions."

Dr Bajan said the number of malaria vivax cases far outsrip that of malaria falciparum this year. "The malaria strain in the city is rapidly mutating and thus the symptoms exhibited by patients are different. The vivax malaria, which earlier was mild in nature, has turned very potent," he added.

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