The endocardium is the interior lining of the heart chambers. An infection on endocardium or the valves is known as infective endocarditis. It is usually caused by bacterial invasion in the blood stream, leading to a heart infection. It can be the mouth, skin, intestine, respiratory or urinary tract bacteria. Endocarditis infection can also be caused by fungi and other pathogens.

It is a very serious condition, requiring urgent medical attention. Any ignorance of it can cause stroke, heart failure, organ damage, as well as death. It's rare for individuals with the healthy and normal heart to have an infection of endocarditis. It is prevalent in people who already have a heart condition like; 

  • Artificial valves
  • Congenital heart diseases
  • Damaged valves
  • Endocarditis history
  • History of Drug abuse
  • Mitral valve prolapses 

People with these conditions are at higher risk of developing an infection of the endocardium and must take specific care by seeking immediate medical attention, if the following symptoms are seen: 

  • Fever 
  • Fatigue
  • Haematuria i.e. blood in urine or abnormal colour
  • Shivering and chills
  • Sweating
  • Red coloured skin rashes
  • Stiffening and hardening of muscles
  • Breathing trouble
  • Nausea, vomiting, and cough
  • Swollen throat and white spots on tongue
  • Weight loss 

Dental surgeries and other invasive procedures increase the risk of infection. If not treated in time it can cause irreversible damage to the heart. Ideally, treatment options include antibiotics through IV as an initial step. If the damage is severe, doctors recommend a surgical option to repair the damaged valve.