In recent weeks, several countries, including the US, the UK, and China, have experienced a surge in COVID cases due to the influx of a new strain called JN.1. Health experts have warned that this could increase the chances of potential heart issues for those who were affected by the disease. The ACE2 receptors that the coronavirus attaches to within human cells are very common in the heart. Therefore, many infected individuals suffer from reduced cardiac function.

The Riken Institute in Japan has issued a report warning about a new and concerning global healthcare risk. This could trigger a heart failure pandemic, as those at risk of future heart failure due to persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection are expected to increase exponentially. The report suggests that a three-dimensional human cardiac tissue model is needed to validate the proof-of-concept study of the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 persistent infection of the heart and the potential risk of opportunistic progression of heart failure, which would serve as an alarm bell for a global healthcare risk.

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The latest warning comes as COVID cases spike significantly in the US, with the fast-spreading JN.1 variant accounting for 44 percent of all cases nationwide. Riken Research Leader Hidetoshi Masumoto expressed concerns about the situation, saying that some people infected with Coronavirus may have persistent viral infections in their hearts. He stressed the need to establish a testing system and treatment methods in preparation for a heart failure pandemic, in which the number of heart failure patients will increase rapidly.

Health officials have warned of a possible large uptick in illnesses this winter, especially ahead of crowded social events for New Year’s celebrations, as the number of flu cases rises in combination with COVID-19.

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