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 Wuhan. Latest COVID-19 case numbers.

The main symptoms of the disease are:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • 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 where possible.

  • 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) and use a face mask.

  • Attend for your vaccination when offered.

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.


NI Government - latest advice

Latest COVID-19 case numbers

Latest cardiology updates about COVID-19

Latest COVID-19 updates from CDC

Latest SARS-CoV-2 research papers

ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin receptor blockers and COVID-19 : ESC advice