The Coxsackie B virus is directly linked TO (and responsible for) MANY unexplained AND sudden HEART-RELATED EVENTS that CAN strike any healthy adults AT ANY TIME with no known symptoms of CURRENT heart disease. Infants and children are also at risk. Since it is a virus, there are no antibiotics or known drugs that your physician can prescribe TO DIRECTLY AFFECT THE VIRUS. IF LEFT UNTREATED, IT can be life threatening.
Coxsackie virus (also written as coxsackievirus) is a member of the Picornaviridae family of viruses in the genus termed Enterovirus (which also includes poliovirus, echovirus, and hepatitis A) Enteroviruses are among the most common and important human pathogens. They are usually transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Coxsackieviruses share many characteristics with poliovirus. With control of poliovirus infections in much of the world, more attention has been focused on understanding the non-polio Enteroviruses such as coxsackievirus. Coxsackieviruses are among the leading causes of aseptic meningitis, the other usual suspects are the echovirus and the mumps virus.
Group B Coxsackieviruses tend to infect the heart, pleura, pancreas, and liver; causing pleurodynia, myocarditis, pericarditis, and hepatitis. Coxsackie B infection of the heart can lead to pericardial effusion. Symptoms of pericardial effusion can be muffled heart sounds and pulsus paradoxus.
The development of insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM) has recently been associated with recent enteroviral infection, particularly coxsackievirus B pancreatitis. This relationship is currently being studied further.
The Coxsackie viruses were discovered in 1948-49 by Gilbert Dalldorf, a scientist working at the New York State Department of Health in Albany, New York.
Dr. Dalldorf, in collaboration with Grace Sickles, had been searching for a cure for the dreaded disease polio. Earlier work Dalldorf had done in monkeys suggested that fluid collected from a non-polio virus preparation could protect against the crippling effects of polio. Using newborn mice as a vehicle, Dalldorf attempted to isolate such protective viruses from the feces of polio patients. In carrying out these experiments, he discovered viruses that often mimicked mild or nonparalytic polio. The virus family he discovered was eventually given the name Coxsackie, for the town of Coxsackie, New York, a small town on the Hudson River where Dalldorf had obtained the first fecal specimens.
These diseases tend to be self-limiting. They are very common in pregnancy, especially at times of the year when prevalence is high, but the outcome is usually benign if the mother was asymptomatic. As many as 65% of women who give birth to infants with proven enteroviral infection have symptomatic disease during the perinatal period. Maternal echovirus or Coxsackie virus B infections are not associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortions, but stillbirths late in pregnancy have been described.
The early symptoms of the coxsackie-induced cardiac myopathy include some generalized viral symptoms-fever, fatigue, malaise-with the addition of chest pains. As the virus enters the heart cells, the immune system attacks and damages both infected and normal heart cells; the affected individual feels severe fatigue when there is significant impairment of heart function. In most cases, the disease is resolved spontaneously without any treatment, though some permanent heart damage may have occurred.