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Although it looks as if the pandemic is affecting almost everyone in some or other way, it may be even more crucial for people suffering from hypertension to stay updated and informed about COVID 19. Doctors suggest that coronavirus infection can be more fatal in those with hypertension and also alter the action of antihypertensive drugs.

The outbreak of COVID 19 is indeed more vital for hypertensive patients. Present data confirms that hypertensive patients are at elevated risk of getting COVID 19. Also, such patients carry a higher risk of needing hospitalization, ventilation requirement and even death. As per WHO, hypertensive patients fall under the highest-risk category for getting affected by more severe COVID 19 cases and even death. The COVID 19 death rate in hypertensive patients is 8.4% vs. 0.9% in patients without any pre-existing condition. Two special implications have been found for hypertension and COVID 19:

  • Hypertensive patients have elevated ACE2 levels
  • Hypertensive patients on ACE inhibitors or ARB therapy may need to stop taking these medications or need re-evaluation if they contract COVID 19.

Hypertensive patients require to follow the same precautionary measures as normal individuals to prevent getting the infection, apart from keeping their BP in check.

  1. Maintain your recommended blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
  2. Frequently monitor your blood sugar and BP levels to rapidly identify any irregularities and get appropriate treatment adjustments.
  3. Get enough supplies related to your co-morbid testing and medications, in case of an outbreak, for at least 15 days.
  4. Practice frequent handwashing with soap and water.
  5. Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow, in case of coughing or sneezing.
  6. Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes.
  7. Avoid unwanted travel and socializing.
  8. Stay vaccinated for each available infectious disease.
  9. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  10. Consume yogurt and probiotics for a healthy digestive system.
  11. Sleep for at least 8-9 hours to reduce stress and maintenance of immunity levels.
  12. Avoid crowd exposure and handshaking.
  13. Immediately contact your doctor if you develop any respiratory symptoms such as cold, cough, difficulty in breathing or fever.
  14. Last but not the least, stay hydrated.

Like many others out there, you would also probably have questions about the mighty Coronavirus and the one topping the list is about the spread of the virus. Currently, the Novel Coronavirus has been spreading rapidly across the globe, affecting 175 countries and claiming more than 21,000 lives. With the global pandemic showing no signs to stop, here’s a closer look at how the deadly virus spreads.

Think of all the frequently touched surfaces where germs can lurk: kitchen counters, bathroom counters, doorknobs, elevator buttons, the handle on the refrigerator, handrails on staircases. The list goes on and on.

As the initial cases of the disease were associated with direct exposure to the seafood sellers in China, the first presumption of the spread of the virus was thought to be a case of “animal-to-human transmission”. However, subsequent patients were not linked to the above mechanism. Hence, the experts concluded that the virus could also be transmitted through person-to-person contact, and patients having the disease symptoms are the most common source of the spread of the disease. The possibility of spread prior symptom developments seems to be rare but is possible. Also, evidence exists that infected patients not showing symptoms can also spread the virus. This fact indicates that practicing self-isolation is indeed the best way to control the epidemic.

As evident with other respiratory illnesses, the spread of the disease is thought to occur through
respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing. Aerosol transmission is also possible in case of closed spaces. The latter spread, however, mainly occurs to family members, healthcare workers, and other proximal contacts.

Data also indicates that cases of COVID 19 double every week in the epidemic. Thus average, each patient spreads the disease to an additional 2.2 individuals.

With the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus and the speed through which it is spreading, one way to surely slow the spread is social distancing (also called physical distancing). The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread. With death count increasing massively every day, it has become even more important to follow all the guidelines shared by the government and the respective health authorities to protect yourself from the global pandemic.

Currently, isolation is the only effective way out to restrict or prevent the transmission of the infection. Hence, current strategies of prevention revolve around isolation of patients along with careful infection control, including undertaking suitable measures at the time of diagnosis and treating an already infected patient.

International healthcare authorities have enlisted several recommendations, given below to prevent oneself from getting a COVID 19 disease:

  1. Avoid close contact with patients demonstrating any respiratory symptoms such as coughing or sneezing. Maintain a minimum of 3 feet distance.
  2. Frequently, wash your hands, especially post-contact with a patient having respiratory disease symptoms, preferably for >20 seconds with soap water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  3. Patients having symptoms of a respiratory infection, should behave responsibly and cover their mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing with a tissue or cloth and adhere to strict hand washing.
  4. Avoid handshake while greeting someone.
  5. Hospital authorities must also strengthen their hygiene practices.
  6. Immunocompromised or patients with low immunity, such as elders must avoid going in public.
  7. Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow, in case of coughing or sneezing.
  8. Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes.
  9. Avoid unwanted travel and contact with unknown persons.
  10. Stay vaccinated for each available infectious disease.
  11. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  12. Consume yogurt and probiotics for a healthy digestive system.
  13. Sleep for at least 8-9 hours to reduce stress and maintenance of immunity levels.
  14. Avoid crowd exposure.
  15. Immediately contact your doctor if you develop any respiratory symptoms such as cold, cough, and difficulty in breathing or fever.
  16. Last but not the least, stay hydrated.

People with diabetes need to be extra careful during this tough hour and should adhere to all instructions given by their doctors. Because uncontrolled diabetes itself can be fatal and with the current devastating scenario of Coronavirus, it becomes even more important for a diabetic patient to take all the preventive measures. Diabetes patients are believed to be at added risk for getting COVID 19 infection.

Majority of health experts working on COVID 19 patients term diabetes to be a high-risk condition for the COVID 19 infection, mainly due to a raised rate of case-fatality (CFR) among diabetes patients, who get COVID 19. As per evidence, the overall CFR of COVID 19 is 2.3% while the CFR for patients having pre-existing diabetes gets raised to 7.3%. Also, the scenario gets further elevated in the case of elderly patients, with patients aged >80 years reporting a CFR of 14.0%. In general parlance, patients with diabetes, especially with uncontrolled or poorly controlled blood sugar levels are more prone to getting infected with any sort of infections including COVID 19, possibly due to the reduced immunity levels as a result of high blood sugar levels.

Following precautions are advised for Diabetic patients to prevent COVID 19:

  1. Maintain the recommended glucose control by strictly adhering to diet, activity and medication regimens.
  2. Frequently monitor your blood sugar levels to rapidly identify any spikes in glucose levels and getting appropriate treatment adjustments.
  3. Get enough supplies related to your diabetes testing and medications, in case of an outbreak, for at least 15 days.
  4. Practice frequent handwashing with soap and water.
  5. Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow, in case of coughing or sneezing.
  6. Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes.
  7. Avoid unwanted travel and contact with unknown persons.
  8. Stay vaccinated for each available infectious disease.
  9. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  10. Consume yogurt and probiotics for a healthy digestive system.
  11. Sleep for at least 8-9 hours to reduce stress and maintenance of immunity levels.
  12. Avoid crowd exposure.
  13. Avoid handshaking.
  14. Immediately contact your doctor if you develop any respiratory symptoms such as cold, cough, difficulty in breathing or fever.
  15. Last but not the least, stay hydrated.

With more than 5 lacs infected cases and nearly 20 thousand deaths till now, COVID-19 famously known as Novel Coronavirus has put the entire world to a standstill. Though there are conspiracies and theories around the origin of the coronavirus, we will help you debunk some rumors and give you real insights on the origin, symptoms, and causes of Novel Coronavirus.

A coronavirus is a virus group, belonging to betacoronavirus family responsible for causing a range of respiratory diseases, from common cold, influenza to more severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Recently, a new addition to this family has been found out which is responsible for the global outbreak of a potentially fatal disease, COVID 19. The virus is named as SARS-CoV-2 or the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, while the resulting disease is referred to as COVID 19 or coronavirus disease 2019. The COVID 19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2019 owing to its rapid spread in over 250 countries, globally.

Symptoms of COVID 19

Signs and symptoms of COVID 19 may emerge in 2 to 14 days in the patient after getting exposed to the virus. They can range from very mild to fatal and may include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty in breathing, called dyspnoea
  • Fatigue or Tiredness
  • Body or Joint Pain
  • Constantly running nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Diarrhea and vomiting have also been reported in a minor group of patients
  • Some patients even remain asymptomatic

Elderly patients, patients with impaired immunity such as HIV/AIDS or those suffering from co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, heart or lung diseases are at elevated risk of fatal outcomes from COVID 19.

Causes of COVID 19

COVID 19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus as it spreads to persons in close contact with an already infected patient through the respiratory droplets, by coughing or sneezing. It can also spread by touching the surface containing the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes with the same part.

The fast spread of the coronavirus has surely prompted the global alarm. From closing borders, global airlines suspending flights to some governments even barring entry to foreign nationals, the outbreak has created serious fear in the minds of the common man. Everyone irrespective of height, weight, body shape has fallen prey to the deadly disease across the globe.  Doctors are constantly asking individuals with low immunity to be safe and take necessary precautions. When it comes to patients with heart history, they have been asked to take extra care during this time. We all know that patients suffering from heart diseases are especially vulnerable to respiratory tract infections, including COVID 19.

However, the extent of damage in heart patients is currently uncertain. As per evidence, patients with known cardiovascular disease (CVD) have a CFR of 10.5% in case of a COVID 19 infection. Also, evidence suggests that 16.7% of COVID 19 patients, having CVD, develop abnormal heartbeat while 7.2% of patients get acute cardiac damage. Cases of acute-onset heart failure, heart attack, and other fatal cardiac symptoms have also been reported in COVID 19 patients with CVD. Heart complications in COVID 19 patients are comparable with SARS and MERS patients.

Following precautions are advised for CVD patients to prevent COVID 19:

  1. Maintain your recommended blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
  2. Frequently monitor your blood sugar and BP levels to rapidly identify any irregularities and get appropriate treatment adjustments
  3. Get enough supplies related to your co-morbid testing and medications, in case of an outbreak, for at least 15 days.
  4. Practice frequent handwashing with soap and water
  5. Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow, in case of coughing or sneezing
  6. Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes
  7. Avoid unwanted travel and socializing
  8. Stay vaccinated for each available infectious disease
  9. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  10. Consume yoghurt and probiotics for a healthy digestive system
  11. Sleep for at least 8-9 hours to reduce stress and maintenance of immunity levels
  12. Avoid crowd exposure and handshaking
  13. Immediately contact your doctor if you develop any respiratory symptoms such as cold, cough, difficulty in breathing or fever.
  14. Last but not the least, stay hydrated