COVID-19, the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has sickened hundreds of thousands and continues to kill people worldwide, as also in India. Not only COVID-19, but other respiratory illness like influenza and SARS can worsen existing heart disease and can also cause new heart problems in otherwise healthy people.
Bombarded with queries from my friends, relatives and patients, I try to address some common questions pertaining to heart health:-
No. The infection can be caught by anyone. However once infected, people with pre-existing heart diseases or diabetes or hypertension are more likely to show symptoms and more likely to have a more severe infection.
It is better to defer your routine check-up if you are asymptomatic. Telephonic or WhatsApp conversation with your doctor may be done.
Importantly, do not neglect the symptoms of heart disease. If you have worsening chest pain during exertion or at rest, shortness of breath or palpitations, or if you experience fainting episodes, visit your nearest hospital/doctor urgently.
Please take all your medicines as prescribed. If in doubt, consult your doctor over the telephone. If you are regularly adjusting your blood-thinning medications or checking PT-INR periodically, please contact the doctor over the phone.
For mild fever, cough and body ache, call your doctor and seek advice over the phone; stay at home, maintain hand hygiene and wear a mask.
For worsening symptoms or shortness of breath, visit nearby Flu clinic or fever clinic, or a designated hospital.
Yes, there is a theoretical risk of it. You can do nothing to prevent these problems. However, you can follow recommendations to prevent getting infected, such as social distancing, self-isolation, hand washing, etc.
No. There is currently no evidence that humans can catch the disease from cats or dogs.
Following are important—
Remember this period is a small speed-breaker in our life. It will pass soon. Stay healthy; Stay safe; Stay at home.
Critical care or intensive care is the medical supervision for people with severe life-threatening conditions…