What You Should Know About Myocarditis

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At least 18 teens and young adults in Connecticut have shown symptoms of heart problems after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, according to officials from the state Department of Public Health. This is what you need to know.

Health officials said the reported cases appear to be mild and typically begin within four days after the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.              

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to determine if the vaccines were the cause of the reported heart condition.

The CDC said is investigating after a small number of teens and young adults reported having heart problems after being vaccinated for COVID-19 and a CDC safety committee released an advisory last week to alert doctors of “myocarditis” among younger vaccine recipients after a “relatively few” cases of the unusual heart symptom surfaced.

Dr. Ted O’Connell told NBC San Diego that the rates they of myocarditis they are seeing are no higher than what they would experience normally and they don’t know if it’s associated with the vaccine or not.

What Is Myocarditis

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, according to the Mayo Clinic, which can affect your heart muscle and your heart's electrical system. They said it can reduce the heart's ability to pump and cause rapid or abnormal heart rhythms.

A viral infection usually causes myocarditis, but it can result from a reaction to a drug or be part of a more general inflammatory condition

Symptoms of Myocarditis

Signs of Myocarditis in Children

When children develop myocarditis, some signs and symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid or abnormal heart rhythms
  • Health experts urge both children and adults who may be experiencing any of these symptoms to immediately seek medical attention.

How Can Myocarditis Be Treated?

  • In many cases of myocarditis, the inflamed heart condition can improve on its own.
  • Mayo Clinic doctors say treatment focuses on the cause of the condition and symptoms, such as heart failure and shortness of breath.
  • Doctors recommend getting a lot of rest and taking medication to help fight off the infection. Experts say that although antiviral medications are available, they are not proven effective in treatment for most cases of the heart condition.
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