After the outbreak of coronavirus, it has been clear that the disease behaves differently among different conditions. Among many risk factors for COVID-19 previously reported by other studies shows underlying medical conditions like chronic lung disease, serious heart conditions, diabetes and obesity are more vulnerable to the disease. Though the relentless spread of coronavirus around the globe has grabbed everyone’s attention, people with heart disease need to be extra attentive as they have a greater risk of developing COVID-19. While the disease tends to be relatively mild and self-limiting in younger individuals, it tends to take on a rather sinister course in the elderly and several others with risk factors. Pre-existing cardiovascular disease and hypertension in addition to age and diabetes have emerged as fairly strong associates of a poor outcome in patients with this disease.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
According to the WHO, people may start to experience symptoms 2–14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include:
- Fever, chills, cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Congestion or a runny nose
- Fatigue, headache, diarrhoea
- Muscle pain
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
Dome of the following groups have a higher risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19:
- people aged 65 years or older
- people living in nursing homes or care facilities
- people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions, including chronic lung disease, serious heart conditions, severe
- obesity, a compromised immune system, or diabetes
What are the risks involved in people with heart conditions due to corona?
Patients with underlying cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure and arrhythmia may be more likely to show symptoms of the viral infection or acquire the infection more severely compared to others. Besides having a mild viral illness including sore throat, cough, aches and pains, and fever, they may also develop chest infection or pneumonia. The ones at risk are those with compromised immunity such as heart transplant patients, individuals with heart failure and/or dilated card. While the basis of contracting the virus is the same in heart patients, once it enters the body, it causes direct damage to the lungs and triggers an inflammatory response which places stress on the cardiovascular system. This leads to a drop in blood oxygen levels and blood pressure. COVID-19 poses a higher risk for people with basic conditions, including:
- Coronary artery disease.
- High blood pressure.
- Previous stroke.
What are the preventive measures we can initiate?
It is strongly advisable for the patients to continue their medicines as prescribed and not to stop them unless they are advised differently by their doctors. But what are the preventive actions that we could initiate, let’s have a look at it.
- Continue your medicines and your diet as directed by your healthcare provider.
- Make sure that you have at least a 30-day supply of your medicines.
- Stay in contact with your healthcare team as often as possible, especially if you have any new signs or symptoms of illness.
- If you don’t have a healthcare provider, contact your nearest community health centre external icon or health department.
- Do not delay life-saving treatment or emergency care.
- Avoid the usage of drugs and alcohol
When should I contact the doctor?
During the current lockdown time, it’s difficult to visit a doctor unless it;’s an emergency. So if you have the following conditions it’s advisable to visit a doctor.
- Frequent chest pain
- Breathing issues
- Sore throat
- Muscle numbness and pain
While the coronavirus pandemic is a cause for consternation and concern for the entire world, a patient with a known history of hypertension and cardiac disease has to be even more careful. If you or someone in your family with an underlying heart condition has symptoms of the virus, especially worsening chest pain during exercise or while resting, shortness of breath, palpitations or fainting, you should consult cardiologist immediately. Medisys Cardiology Hospitals have an expert team of doctors who would have similar heart-related issues.