July 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM ET
Country singer Randy Travis remains in critical condition in a Texas hospital after being admitted for complications from a recently acquired viral heart infection.
The 54-year-old Travis, a legend of country music who branched into film and television, was hospitalized Sunday in Dallas suffering from viral cardiomyopathy, representatives for the musician said Monday.
Viral cardiomyopathy is an infection of the heart muscle most often caused by the Coxsackie B virus, said Dr. Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn.
Symptoms typically include fever, headache, sore throat and stomach problems, as well as chest and muscle pain. The infection can damage heart cells or cause the heart to go into abnormal rhythms, Thompson said.
Many people who are infected don’t even know it, but in some victims, the infection can be serious, causing permanent damage or death.
Viral cardiomyopathy is often seen in young people, including military recruits who live in close quarters, where they can easily transmit the virus. It is a frequent cause of sudden death during exercise, Thompson said.
The "Forever and Ever, Amen" crooner has sold more than 20 million records over the course of his career, and has won seven Grammys, 10 Academy of Country Music awards, five Country Music Association awards and more. Travis has also appeared in television shows and movies, including multiple episodes of "Touched by an Angel" in the role of Wayne and Jed Winslow, and "National Treasure: Book of Secrets."
Best known for his hits "Three Wooden Crosses" and "Diggin' Up Bones," Travis made headlines last year after Texas State Troopers found the singer lying naked near his crashed car and his booking photo showed his face covered in cuts and bruises.
He pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to serve at least 30 days at an in-patient alcohol treatment facility.
Additional reporting by NBC'sJoNel Aleccia and Reuters.