By Dr. N. Prathap Kumar,
Interventional Cardiologist, Meditrina Hospitals
Though the main organs affected by the corona virus are the lungs and the respiratory system, it also brings a variation in heart functioning of those affected. With people with heart ailments and those who have survived a stroke among those facing higher risk of complications from COVID-19, a higher risk from complications needs to be seen as a matter of concern.
This doesn’t mean that people with heart diseases are more likely to contract the coronavirus, but they are more likely to have complications once they do contract the virus. It is important that heart patients should consider adopting the following measures.
- The guidelines and instructions given by the Government and the Health Department should be followed strictly. Avoid mass gathering and reunion of family and friends.
- If you are following a diet now, it should be strictly continued. If you come across any news or message saying that a particular food or fruits would improve immunity against corona virus or good for health, please take the advice of your doctor before trying it out.
- Those who are doing exercises should continue doing them. Jogging and walking can continue in a safe environment, avoiding contact with other people. If you feel any discomfort like respiratory problem or a burning sensation while doing the exercise, please consult the doctor immediately.
- ‘Sleep’ is the most important thing that everyone needs. For a patient with heart problem, sound sleep cannot be compromised. If a person with heart problem doesn’t sleep well and feels fatigue, he or she may misinterpret it and create a panic that it is due to the corona virus.
- An important problem heart patients face is the ‘Stress’ created by news of the virus. Mental stress of people thinking about getting the virus will create anxiety, which might put them in danger. We need to remember that the rate of death due to COVID-19 among heart patients is 10.5%.
- Not just heart patients, everyone should stop using air-conditioning facility in public places and vehicles. There is a chance of the virus being spread in a closed environment.