COVID-19 (coronavirus) and cardiac health
The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by a new virus (SARS-CoV-2), first reported late December 2019 in China. Latest COVID-19 case numbers. Current data suggest the potential cardiac complications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are similar to that seen with SARS, MERS and other influenza type infections.
The main symptoms of the disease are:
Shortness of breath
For most people (80% of cases) the illness is mild but the virus can cause severe illness in:
those who are older than 60 (people 80 and older are at highest risk)
those who have underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, lung disease, diabetes, or cancer
Some ways to stay healthy:
1. Defend Against Infection
The virus may spread from person to person within 6 feet of one another if someone with the virus sneezes or coughs. Protective steps include:
Avoid people who are sick
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
If you cough, cover your mouth or use the inside of your elbow
If you sneeze, cover your nose or use the inside of your elbow
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Clean surfaces touched often like doorknobs, handles, steering wheels, or light switches with a disinfectant to remove the virus
While risk is high undertake social distancing (2m) or consider use of a face mask if social distancing is not possible.
Avoid gatherings and limit unnecessary travel.
2. Keep Up Healthy Habits
Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, and manage stress.
If you experience fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call (rather than attend) your GP and they will advise regarding the next steps.
Treatment for virus infections, including COVID-19, typically involves rest and staying hydrated but if you have heart failure, excess fluid in your body may be a concern. If so, ask your doctor about extra monitoring you might need.
If you are taking medicine for a health condition, including heart disease or diabetes, problems may occur if you skip a dose or stop it altogether. Don't change your medications or treatment without first talking to your doctor.
3. Ask About Telephone Consultation
At present, it is recommended to have a telephone consultation rather than a face to face visit to limit possible contact with others who may have the virus. Telephone consults are now undertaken via Kingsbridge.