Since January this year, the entire world has been thrown off-track by a virus!. Over the last few months as we are learning more and more about the COVID-19 virus we are also finding ways to get on with life and cope with the new normal. In the article, we address a few facts about COVID 19 and the heart and also suggest ways to take care of your heart during this pandemic.
In > 80% of the patients, COVID-19 manifests as a mild viral illness. A small portion, especially the elderly develop a more serious disease. Pre-existing cardiac ailments are also known to adversely affect outcomes.
In some case, COVID 19 can directly damage the heart, but more often the oxygen deprivation secondary to lung infection and the accompanying systemic inflammation can worsen a pre-existing cardiac condition. It is important to realise that the risk of getting infected is the same as anyone else!. Also, not all heart ailments pose the same risk – people with heart failure, coronary artery disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, certain genetic arrhythmias need to be more careful. Studies have shown that hypertensives are also at a slightly higher risk of worsening. Visit the best heart hospital in Mangalore today to avoid these risks.
Protecting yourself against the virus:
Until such time as a potent vaccine is easily available, our best defence against the virus includes – social distancing, hand hygiene and face mask. The world health organisation (WHO) encourages the use of fabric (non-medical) masks in situations where it is not possible to maintain social distancing like public transports, shops and other crowded environments. Furthermore, the WHO also recommends the use of medical masks for people above 60 years and those with cardiac ailments or other co-morbidities.
In case you get infected,
Since cardiac patients are at a higher risk of worsening, it is a good idea to get in touch with your doctor early, in case of sore throat or fever. Also look out for atypical symptoms of COVID 19, like body aches, tiredness or diarrhoea. It is important to recognise that many patients do not complain of shortness of breath despite being deprived of oxygen-‘happy hypoxia’. Hence it is important for an infected patient to monitor saturation with a pulse-oximeter and get in touch with the best cardiologist in Mangalore early. Another reason for visiting your doctor early would be to adjust your cardiac medications. Studies have shown that early recognition of worsening and early intervention can lower mortality. ‘Denial’ and ‘Delay’ are two very costly mistakes, especially for cardiac patients.
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Quit smoking and finally
For all that COVID 19 numbers that has scared us since the past since months, do not forget that more than 98% of the infected people survive! so, be positive!
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