Coronavirus predominantly affects lungs and airways, but it can also impact heart especially with pre-existing heart disease patients. These are the patients with hypertension, previous heart attacks, post angioplasty/bypass surgery, valvular heart disease or rhythm disorders of heart like atrial fibrillation. Diabetes also has higher evidence of heart disease hence is a risk factor for coronavirus.
Asked about how the novel coronavirus is making its way into the heart muscle, Dr Ashish Agarwal, senior consultant, HOD, Cardiology, Aakash Healthcare & Super Speciality Hospitals, Dwarka replies, “The Covid-19 virus has been found to affect the heart in various ways. Most commonly, it exacerbates heart conditions in people who already have it. Those with undiagnosed and rather silent heart conditions may develop complications such as fever and inflammation which make the blood more prone to clotting and interferes with the body’s ability to dissolve clots.”
Recovered Covid-19 patients should not ignore chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitation, excess sweating and fatigue as these may mean the risk of heart disease. Being aware of the symptoms is the first step to make an informed choice, thereby, seeking early medical attention immediately. Covid-19 patients with pre-existing heart diseases, even those who are cured, are at greater risk. Their condition can trigger further complications and even cardiac arrests. However, such patients can recover with suitable treatments.
“A 35-year-old man came with severe chest pain to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute Emergency at 10 pm. His ECG was suggestive of an acute heart attack. Within minutes of his arrival, he suffered cardiac arrest and could be revived after multiple shocks and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He was further treated with primary angioplasty to open the blocked vessel. The second day his RT PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 came positive. The patient was discharged after seven days of treatment. This patient suffered from near-fatal complications of Covid-19 affecting his heart,” says Dr Vishal Rastogi, additional director, Interventional Cardiology & head, Advanced Heart Failure Program, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla.
Dr Rastogi adds that some people may also experience myocardial infarction type 2, which can occur when the heart muscle is starved for oxygen, triggered by a mismatch between the supply and demand for oxygen in the heart. Covid-19 has been found to cause uncommon and rare problems such as fulminant inflammation of heart muscles and viral myocarditis which can weaken the heart muscle and may lead to heart failure.
As more and more patients are getting affected by the disease, knowledge about the SARS-CoV-2 virus is also increasing and almost daily more and more baffling new research is coming up. Dr Agarwal highlights, “As cases from Italy showed, the infection in the heart and heart muscle may occur even after the acute phase of Covid-19 infection has resolved and no damage is done to lungs.”
In one such study in Germany, it was found that out of 100 middle-aged patients who had recovered from so-called ‘mild’ Covid-19 disease and did not have any cardiac symptoms, 78 patients had abnormal findings in the heart as detected on Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR) two to three months after testing positive for the virus. These patients are at risk of continued damage to the heart. Dr Rastogi explains,
“With time it became apparent that microvascular injury and thrombosis play an important part in the disease process. After being swamped with severelyill patients in the first few months of the pandemic, researchers are now focusing on signs of lasting damage, not just to lungs but also the heart and other organs.”
Cases of cured Covid-19 patients developing heart problems are rapidly increasing. Several of them encounter common cardiac symptoms ranging from chest pain to dizziness and pain in other parts of the body too. However, with early care and attention, these risks can be minimised. Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, cardio-thoracic surgeon, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre says, “Consulting the doctor immediately is advised. We witness patients showing classical heart attack symptoms and ECG changes, coming in an emergency, later to find out having Covid-19 infections. Fortunately, they do recover with appropriate treatments.”
Patients should regularly get their blood pressure and blood sugar checked at home by home monitoring tools. Besides this, regular exercises, weight control, reduced alcohol consumption and no tobacco use are some of the precautions which ensure good heart health. Dr Subhash Chandra, chairman & HoD, Cardiology, BLK Heart Centre, Delhi says: “These existing patients, who have recovered from a mild or severe form of Covid-19, have to ensure regular intake of prescribed medications, submit for regular blood biochemistry tests: lipid profile, kidney function test, thyroid profile and sugar examination in case of diabetes.”
The common cardiac manifestations due to Covid-19 are myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure, myocarditis (inflammation of the muscle) and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat). The novel coronavirus has greater infectivity, high fatality rate and has caused significant morbidity and mortality so there’s a need for continued monitoring after discharge among patients who have recovered from the virus, believes Dr Srichandran Lakshminarayanan, senior consultant interventional cardiologist, MGM Healthcare, Chennai. He adds, “Whether these symptoms will eventually resolve or there can be permanent damage remains unknown. However, people with persistent Covid-19 symptoms shouldn’t assume that they will stay ill for a long time. We reassure everyone not to worry and to seek early medical care if symptoms worsen.”
Dr Surya Prakash Rao, consultant cardiologist, CARE Hospitals, Hyderabad opines, “Heart patients are at a greater risk of contracting and succumbing to the effects of the coronavirus. Such patients with pre-existing medical conditions should be extra careful and take extra measures of safety and strictly follow and maintain social distancing protocols.” He suggests regular consultation with the doctor and not to stop the treatment process.
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India’s daily Covid cases are at a four-month low ahead of the festive season
India’s Covid-19 infection tally fell below 2,000 for the first time in four months on Tuesday, with the country recording 1,968 new infections in the previous 24 hours. Over 26,300 new infections were reported in India in the week ending October 2.
After two years of muted celebrations due to the virus, the latest dip is being viewed as a respite by thousands across the country.
Here are some of the most recent updates on the country’s pandemic situation:
- The daily Covid tally on Tuesday was the lowest in 133 days. On May 23, a total of 1,675 cases were reported in a 24-hour period.
- According to data from the Union Health Ministry, the number of active cases has also decreased by 1,528 in the last 24 hours, to 34,598. Active cases currently account for 0.08 percent of all cases.
- According to the reports, the daily positivity rate was 0.94 percent, while the weekly positivity rate was 1.29 percent.
- The nationwide Covid-19 death toll has risen to 5,28,716 with 15 fatalities, including eight deaths reconciled by Kerala, according to data updated by the ministry.
- According to state data, the national capital reported 39 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra reported 186 new infections, with Mumbai accounting for 66 of them.
- On Tuesday, Madhya Pradesh reported 13 new cases, J&K reported 11 cases, and Gujarat reported 62 infections.
- The southern state of Tamil Nadu saw 461 new infections, which was slightly higher than the state average. Telangana had 73 cases reported.
Vietnam reports its first case of monkeypox
Health officials in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City announced the country’s first case of monkeypox on Monday, according to the state-run Vietnamnet newspaper, without providing any details on the patient.
According to the reports, Mainland China reported its first case of monkeypox last month in the western megacity of Chongqing in a traveller who arrived from abroad.
The traveller arrived in China on an unspecified date, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing the Chongqing health commission. The traveller developed a rash and other symptoms while being quarantined in accordance with COVID-19 controls, a practice that affects anyone arriving from abroad, according to the WSJ.
After reviewing test results, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the monkeypox case. According to the report, the traveller is being treated at a designated hospital and is in good condition.
What is The Full Meaning of Health?
Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health may refer to the ability to adapt and manage physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social conditions through changes in lifestyle or self-care.
The word “health” is sometimes used as an abbreviation for “health care”, although health care is only one part of what is meant by health. For example, one might speak about the benefits of “going to the doctor” or “taking medicine”, or the costs of not getting enough sleep or exercise.
There are many other factors that impact on health each day: nutrition(the food we eat), childhood experiences (the way we were raised), quality of medical care (the drugs and surgery used), genetics (how strong our immune system is), stress levels (whether we feel anxious or depressed), environmental exposure to chemicals and toxins (pesticides on crops, exhaust from cars) and so on .
Health is a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. An important way to promote health is to prevent disease, which can be accomplished through immunization programs and screening for early signs of disease. Promotion of good health often involves advice and education about healthy eating habits, exercise, hygiene, self-care, preventive measures against infectious diseases and other health practices. Health care systems are organizations established to meet the health needs of target populations.
Why do we need a healthy lifestyle?
A healthy lifestyle refers to the habits that help people live longer and healthier lives. A healthy lifestyle includes:
Eating a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables.
Not smoking cigarettes.
Kashmiri ASHA worker serves as inspiration by donating blood 28 times
A 32-year-old woman named Bilqees Ara, an ASHA worker, has donated blood 28 times since 2012. She has served as an inspiration to others across the nation.
Bilqees, who is from the Handwara Tehsil in the Kupwara area of North Kashmir, stated that she understands the “importance of blood”.
She said that by donating a pint of blood, she not only saves a precious life but an entire family.
She began donating blood in 2012 and has since given 28 pints.
She expressed her gratitude and pride at being the saviour of so many patients in the Kashmir valley.
I’ve seen people cry helplessly as they try to get blood to save their loved ones, but I’m proud of myself because I’ve arranged blood for them as well. “I felt an inner joy after that,” she said.
In Kashmir, she is known as the “Blood Woman of Kashmir”.
She is a registered blood donor. Whenever a need arises, the officials at the Blood Bank at Handwara hospital call her and, within the shortest span of time, she makes herself available to donate blood.
Women should come forward and do this as there is nothing to be afraid of. This is to be done for society, she said. She also said that she wondered who else would do it if she refused.
If a person has blood and courage, why can’t he give it to someone else in a time of need? She asked.
Covid facilities to reduce in Delhi amid drop in cases
The Delhi government has closed 11 Covid care facilities because to a consistent reduction in cases. Two Covid Care Centers are operational at Ambedkar Nagar Hospital, which has 50 beds, and Balak Ram Hospital, which has 25 beds, according to a government report. Only five admissions were registered at Ambedkar Nagar Hospital over the past three months, while there were none at Balak Ram Hospital.
The number of patients has steadily decreased at the remaining CCCs as well, according to reports.
According to officials, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Thursday decided to scale back the medical staff and infrastructure that had been deployed for COVID management in a planned manner. The health department will now formulate an action plan in response to this decision.
“The deven CCCs were closed and dismantled by Delhi government and one by the Centre and three others with total 4000 bed capacity- Radha Saomi Satsang ,Chattarpur, Sawan Kirpal, Burari , and Sant Nirankari, Burari- were closed but not yet dismantled”, officials said.
India’s daily covid tally falls below 5k with 4,858 new cases
India reported 4,858 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, 806 fewer than yesterday, bringing the total to 4,45,39,046, according to data released by the Union health ministry on Monday. On the other hand, according to the health bulletin, the number of active cases rose to 48,027.
India has 0.11 percent of the infections that are still active, and the Covid recovery rate has risen to 98.71 percent. 2.76 percent was the daily positivity rate, while 1.78 percent was the weekly positivity rate.
Infections with the coronavirus are currently most common in Kerala, followed by Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, and West Bengal.
The health ministry stated that as many as 18 fatalities were reported today, taking the death toll to 5,28,355. This included eight deaths reconciled by Kerala.
According to the data available, 2.16 billion doses of vaccines have been administered in the country so far under the nationwide Covid vaccination drive.
On December 19, India’s Covid-19 total had reached one billion. On May 4 and June 23, respectively, last year, it reached the depressing milestones of two and three crore. On January 25 of this year, the number of Covid cases in the nation surpassed four crore.
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