Articles, Blog

What Happens When a Virus Hijacks Your Heart?

February 20, 2020

Myocarditis is a rare condition of the heart that can stem from some common viruses and bacterial infections we’re all familiar with. It often affects young people, has very few
symptoms, and goes largely undiagnosed…until the autopsy stage. If this already has your heart racing, you’ll
want to stay put. Myocarditis, is kind of a hard word to pronounce. It stands for myo, which means muscle, card
means the heart, and itis means inflammation. My name is DeLisa Fairweather. I’m a PhD researcher from Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville,
Florida. I’ve studied myocarditis for about 25 years. It’s not like a heart attack where you get
pain symptoms or something that alerts you that you have a problem. With myocarditis, you often don’t get any
symptoms at all related to your heart. Unlike atherosclerosis, which is commonly
linked to heart attacks, and involves your vessels and arteries, myocarditis is an inflammation
of the heart muscle itself. It’s often caused by viral infections. And in the United States, the most common type
is called Coxsackie virus. Or, by its more common name, hand, foot, and mouth disease. You may have even experienced this as a child. It usually goes through the daycares, it causes
little sores in the mouth, on the fingers, and feet. That’s the first time you catch the virus. You actually then catch it every year of your
life, so it’s a very common virus. You don’t get the sores after the first time. Myocarditis can also be caused by other types
of viruses such as influenza, hepatitis B and C, and HIV. Coxsackie is something that your body’s
immune system usually takes care of. But what happens when it gets to your heart? So one of the mysteries that there’s been about
myocarditis, is why do viruses that normally infect the gut, like enteroviruses, or the
flu, which normally infects the lung, why would they go to the heart? And we found out in recent years, the reason they
do that, is because they want to hijack an organelle that’s called mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy-producing organelles—you might even say, the powerhouses—in our cells. They make what’s called ATP or the energy
that fuels our bodies. Alongside the brain, the heart and kidneys
together represent the body’s highest demand for energy. If a cell is a car, you have to have an engine that makes the car run and produces the energy
to make the car run. The heart has a lot of them, so rather than
just having one engine like our car, a typical heart cell will have 10,000 engines or mitochondria,
because it needs so much energy to pump. Typically, viruses travel through
the bloodstream and infect the mitochondria, essentially hijacking the powerhouse’s normal
role to instead replicate the virus. But then, our body’s immune system targets that activity and tries to stop this from happening. You can think of the virus really as an enemy. And the immune system is like the fort and it’s
trying to protect the heart from disease or the intruder. Mast cells or M-A-S-T, those are our allergy
cells. They’re the watchmen on the wall that are
trying to prevent the virus from getting in. Those are the cells that we usually think
of as protecting us or causing allergies, but they also do many other things and they’re
very important at starting an immune response. When they detect it, then they set out an
alarm; they send for the large army and the large army are called macrophages. Those are a type of immune cell that is really
good at destroying the virus and helping to get rid of the virus. And in most cases, this is a good thing. The macrophages will come in and get rid of
the infection, and we never know the difference. But certain activities can put you at a greater
risk for sudden death due to this inflammation in the heart. You may have heard of reports where someone
was swimming, or they were running a race or a marathon, or playing soccer on the field
and suddenly they collapsed, or maybe even they dropped dead. Often at autopsy, that turns out to have been
myocarditis and just was not realized. That’s because exercise or strenuous action
can actually exacerbate this condition. We need the mitochondria to give us more fuel
when we exercise. Those mitochondria will actually split. When we exercise, we need more energy, and it’s like the engine
splits into two engines to provide us even more energy. But when that happens, it allows the virus
to accelerate its replication, in turn causing even more inflammation and increasing your
risk of acute heart failure. So if there are no symptoms and it’s so tricky to diagnose, how do we know when to seek medical attention? The one thing that we have heard from patients
where they really have survived, is that they had a gut feeling that something was
wrong. So one thing we always tell people is to really
trust your gut, and if you feel like something is wrong, just keep going to the doctor and
make sure that you get it looked into. So, if you’ve recently had flu-like symptoms
or just haven’t been feeling well… maybe lay off the power squats. And as for the future of diagnosis and treatment… The good news is that we are developing new
imaging methods to detect myocarditis. It’s going to make it easier for doctors to be able to work out that you have myocarditis And we’re also working on new methods to be able
to prevent myocarditis, to reduce the inflammation, and reduce whether you’re going to progress
from myocarditis to dilated cardiomyopathy. The healthcare profession in general is getting
really good at saving people’s lives when they’re having sudden heart failure. So if you get into a hospital and you are having
problems, then it is really very high chance that your life is going to be saved.


  • Reply Noodles Jr February 18, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Seeker, mitochondria are not just a powerhouse, they are humanity’s M-jam, Am I right people? (Awkward stare from every human on planet earth)

  • Reply whatsuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu February 18, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Wow cant wait for imaging because most people dont lsiten to thier gut unless they have a severe inconvenience put upon them by something unkown

  • Reply keir farnum February 18, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    I can tell you all about it. It sucks.

  • Reply Infinity Storm February 18, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    You guys really know how to make someone paranoid…

  • Reply Bro-oaken February 18, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    This is what was happening to Goku in the cell saga.

  • Reply Idylchatter February 18, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Intravenous Vitamin C will address this viral infection as well as any other looking for a fight.

  • Reply potatomato :p February 18, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    When a virus hijacks your heart, you will play Raid: Shadow Legends forever.

  • Reply Osmosis Jones February 18, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    How does the virus from body to body

  • Reply TurnedHero February 18, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    1:01 Cocksucky virus ok im immature af but still 🤣🤣

  • Reply kelvin singh February 18, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    this may be a stupid question but does CPR work on someone who got this disease?

  • Reply Rufus B February 18, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    So this was what Goku was suffering from 🤔

  • Reply Dan Kuchar February 18, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Myocarditis caused congestive heart failure that killed my mother. She fought for 20 years, but eventually her heart just became too weak.

    I have great empathy for anyone who has to suffer from this.

  • Reply Justin Leong February 18, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    1:48 they wanted to "hijack" mitochondra. So does it mean this virus will attack testicles too? the factory of sperm cells which have lots of mitochondria

  • Reply Osmosis Jones February 18, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Why did this never appear in my TV series

  • Reply Osmosis Jones February 18, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    It's so hard to stay healthy

  • Reply Silt February 18, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Good thing I don't do sports

  • Reply mahesh karthick February 18, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Wow the combination of animation along with the expert, makes it really nice video! Keep going.

  • Reply deach pitch February 18, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    who else heard cocksucking virus 😅

  • Reply felpshehe February 18, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Is it like the herpes virus family? You get it once and you're good for life?

  • Reply GoldenPanda3x3 February 18, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Interesting, wasn’t this an episode on “Cells at Work”?

  • Reply Hugo Junior February 18, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Eat your cereal

  • Reply Scribe13 February 18, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Sounds like the title of a really bad song

  • Reply Deswin Raj February 18, 2020 at 1:15 pm


  • Reply sistis scan February 18, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Can seeker explain about covid-19 or Corona virus ? I just curious about that …

  • Reply Jesse Georgiou February 18, 2020 at 1:23 pm


  • Reply Julia February 18, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    My "gut feeling" is telling my heart is at it. Since oktober- november '019 (or so…).

  • Reply Ryan Budge February 18, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    My favorite part is positive sounding commentary like "Don't worry, we're making breakthroughs…" being playing over inept medical nightmare horror scenes from the 1950's. Really fills me with…confidence (over a backdrop of the bring-out-your-dead guy)

  • Reply Cherokee Schill February 18, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Unless you have Kaiser Permanente, then it's a 100% chance that you'll die.

  • Reply Christopher Murray February 18, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    is this what killed Goku on Trunks' original timeline?

  • Reply f00zh February 18, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    Go buy a new heart @ wallmart

  • Reply superitgel February 18, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    The symptom is a gut feeling. Are you freaking serious?!

  • Reply Alfredo Méndez February 18, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    After getting a PhD and 25 years of experience in research: just trust your gut.

  • Reply S Brispat February 18, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    Well bois she did it

  • Reply Google Account February 18, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    No wonder google always tells that im gonna die

  • Reply Pretisy February 18, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Me: Hears Mitochondria

    I dropped out of Highschool…

  • Reply AIRLINENA February 18, 2020 at 2:24 pm


  • Reply Brent Smith February 18, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Lol go to the doctors, yeah because everyone can afford to do that just to have the doctor tell you it’s nothing to worry about and send you home with some ibuprofen

  • Reply Sofia Velasco February 18, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Is it possible for it to effect other organs and shut them down?

  • Reply InMaTeofDeath February 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    What happens is your rivals son shows up from the future to give you the meds you need to survive it.

  • Reply 8SH0CK8 February 18, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Who decide viruses names?

    what next, muthafukaervirus?

  • Reply CensoredMercy February 18, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    I have a really pressing question I can’t even find on the Internet. If virus’ aren’t living, then why do they even exist, what’s the point? Why? Why reproduce?

  • Reply hardhoofdful February 18, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Jason would be proud seeing jacksonville on the map 💯 GO JAGUARS

  • Reply fleiteh February 18, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Yeah, good luck finding a doctor to take you seriously when you say "I have no sumptoms but I have a gut feeling… "

  • Reply PyroRomancer February 18, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    look at those glasses! more lizard people!

  • Reply Seeker February 18, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Seekers, thanks for watching! Want more on heart health? Check out this Human on arteries:

  • Reply AMEEN RASHID February 18, 2020 at 4:06 pm


  • Reply willow whisper February 18, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    "Just trust your gut", what an unprofessional advice to give lol

  • Reply Oliver Andersson February 18, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    I get set free?

  • Reply My Desert Empress February 18, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    So the one time exercise is bad for you, you be helping viruses spread more in your body~

  • Reply Instant noodles Ramen Man February 18, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Kakarot has left the chat

  • Reply Aditya Parida February 18, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    I can't run if I do I get breathing problem.

  • Reply Lakario Davis February 18, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Ugh my goodness. Scientists can't even agree on how to say macrophages. lol she said microfodges lmao. God, I hate people.

  • Reply Jas0392 Gaming February 18, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    I was diagnosed with myocarditis last year caused by salmonella. Doctors told me it was a rare case where myocarditis was caused by salmonella. The only symptom i had was a fever 2 days prior and thought i was getting the flu. The day i went to the ER was the only day where i felt minor pain between the shoulder blades which i thought was from laying down for a long time.

  • Reply Shannon Elyssa February 18, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    💔⚠️: Have holes in my heart (mitral & tricuspid regurgitation/murmurs) from mold exposure that caused myocarditis.

  • Reply Adam Shaiken February 18, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    What's so cute about having a heart attack ? Oh, you meant acute !!!

  • Reply Leonardo Rothe Tagliafico February 18, 2020 at 5:14 pm


  • Reply sdfkjgh February 18, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Hey, Seeker.  Would you please cover Tay-Sachs &/or other genetic disorders with increased concentration in specific cultures/subgroups of people?

  • Reply Alex Krieger February 18, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Isn't this what killed Goku in Trunk's timeline?

  • Reply quantum6 February 18, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    That's nice they say to talk to the doc. But as a black man in America who's talked to their doctor about chest pain quite often I can tell you that most of the time the doctor just ignores you and says it's in your head.

  • Reply daisx beohfox February 18, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    Sometimes my body starts itching especially my palms or body. I scratch it soo hard that it swells.

  • Reply Serious M0J0 February 18, 2020 at 6:16 pm


  • Reply Adrian Barragan February 18, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Sooo .. what i learned from this video is do not exercise and trust ur guts

  • Reply tentimesful February 18, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    You should try honey with milk, and spaghetti with tuna/tomato/sunflower oil with habba sawda….

  • Reply Adymn Sani February 18, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    you mean call the doctor to get an appointment for 2-4 months out….

  • Reply Adymn Sani February 18, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    can we take a synthetic adenosine triphosphate vs. relying on molecular produced ATP from mitochondria?

  • Reply MeLtedLogiK February 18, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    You know, there are just some things we don't need to know!

  • Reply Steven Juarez February 18, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    She cant even pronounce macrophage correctly smh actors

  • Reply guidstah February 18, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Having heart/chest related issues preventing me to sleep properly for the past 5 year, I can tell you that if they cannot measure anything, they won't help you and you're stuck having what you have.

  • Reply chavamara February 18, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    So, are MAST cells what White Blood Cell is in Cells at Work?

  • Reply Spam Cannon February 18, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    Great. Something else to worry about…

  • Reply killernat1234 February 18, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    Wrong! The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell

  • Reply Mariano Alippi February 19, 2020 at 12:00 am

    I like the tradicional drawings for medícal Aldo and a lot with 3D Design with the WebGl i imagine tradicional interactivo animation with the webgl technology look how facinating ejerce the drawings of anatomía of Leonardo Da Vinci

  • Reply k1lbik February 19, 2020 at 12:32 am

    you ask her to marry you

  • Reply haha yes February 19, 2020 at 12:41 am

    1:57 they said it

  • Reply HoodlumScraggy 1 February 19, 2020 at 1:02 am

    Well goku got a heart virus and died

  • Reply River Bartlett February 19, 2020 at 2:36 am

    This whole video was B.S. you’re saying you’ve been studying this for 25 something years and can only know if u MIGHT have it from a GUT feeling? Yeah that sure makes everybody feel good, knowing that u might possibly die or faint out of nowhere with no symptoms. Plus you would have to just tell doctors I have a gut feeling will you do a bunch of test on me. Those test cost tons of money and you an average person can’t just go get tons of tests.
    On a side note they don’t even mention how to cure it or if there is a cure/prevention if they do find it in you. This is really B.S.

  • Reply Robin Hyperlord February 19, 2020 at 2:54 am

    Hello, is celicious per cubic meter or centimeter and per minute or per hour?

  • Reply Jason Briggs February 19, 2020 at 3:30 am

    Who was the first person too cure cancer using laser technologies

  • Reply Ethan February 19, 2020 at 3:49 am

    “Trusting your gut” in terms of potential health problem is one thing the current healthcare system won’t allow

  • Reply Ethan February 19, 2020 at 3:51 am

    “Trusting your gut” in terms of potential health problem is one thing the current healthcare system won’t allow

  • Reply Bri M February 19, 2020 at 5:03 am

    Anyone know the movie at 2:43?

  • Reply werbl February 19, 2020 at 6:30 am

    Myocarditis / heart failure killed one of my best friends a few years ago. He was 30 years old, left behind a wife and three young kids.

  • Reply Srijan Bharati February 19, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Gut feeling?
    By my gut I have all the disease in the world. Ight imma drop dead now

  • Reply Deadsh07 February 19, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Cocksucky virus? Did I hear it right?

  • Reply informationtolearn 11 February 19, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Interesting topic you presented and keep it up!!!

  • Reply Sameer Choudhari February 19, 2020 at 10:17 am

    DuckDuckGo ads are really good…….. Nice work!!!!!

  • Reply Scorpwanna February 19, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    I'm wondering who at Seeker has recently had a heart problem diagnosed since it's obvious that something has happened due to all these heart related videos all the sudden..

  • Reply Pepeng Jelek February 19, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Like every virus or bacteria related vids i watch i feel weak
    Smh paranoid

  • Reply Imperial Drone February 19, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    Yes ive seen cells at work i know all about fighting FILTHY GERMS

  • Reply Max Salvail February 19, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    i had myocarditis, but i am not convinced it's from a virus since incubation would have lasted over 6 months. There must be other explanation….

  • Reply Mittens4Kittens S.Crouching Tiger February 19, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    “What Happens When A Virus Hijacks Your Heart.” I’ve never heard of love 💝 being called a virus! 🙉 😬😺 💉 My heart has been

  • Reply AddiTechSavvy February 19, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Isn't this what Goku had?

  • Reply Michigan Mitten February 19, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    See with my problem I have anxiety and I always worry there is something wrong with me, I have been to so many doctors about 12 EKGS 8 blood testing and much more and they say I’m completely normally and nothing to worry about but I always worry something is wrong with me and I worry I have this now

  • Reply Federico Reali February 19, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    My brother had this

  • Reply VoLCaMiN February 19, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    I have this twice, first 2years ago (16) and then a year ago (17)
    Not a very nice thing to have

  • Reply João Furlan February 19, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    A close friend almost died last year with that. She was lucky she was already at the ER because she was feeling a bit sick and dizzy. Her heartbeat started plummeting untill it stopped completely. She had to use a machine to pump blood for weeks and almost didn't recovered.

  • Reply Teqnyq February 19, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    😏 1:01

  • Reply WHY SO SERIOUS February 19, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    That must be the dumbest piece of medical advice I've ever heard.

  • Reply Dee B February 19, 2020 at 11:40 pm

    Mitochondria .. is still the powerhouse of the cell.

  • Reply Carlos February 20, 2020 at 12:44 am

    That heart illustration is 🔥

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