Expert Shares Tips For Managing Comorbidities During COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19: People with comorbidities should understand their symptoms and immunity, and get a thorough check-up and consultation done. Here are more tips to maintain your health during the pandemic.
Medical professionals should encourage everyone to follow general preventive measures
- Elderly or people with comorbidities are considered to be at high risk
- They have a comparitively weak immunity
- Taking precautions and preventive measures is important for their safety
The rapid outbreak of the COVID-19, arising from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, has gripped the world with fear and uncertainty due to the nature of the virus and the lack of a vaccine so far. The novel virus is something unprecedented for humanity and that means that developments and studies are taking place concurrently with us battling this pandemic. While the question about a single, effective cure remains largely unanswered, there are developments in studies which give proper information on the symptoms, prevention and relationship of comorbidities with COVID-19.
Managing comorbidities amidst COVID-19 outbreak
By now scientists and researchers world over have confirmed the fact that immunity is a key factor that affects the risk of contracting the virus and recovery from the disease, and that the focus should for now be on immunity building till we have a confirmed cure. The research around immunity also shows how co-morbidities are related to COVID-19 as it was found that a high number of patients who tested positive and had moderate to severe symptoms, showed presence of some underlying co-morbidity among which obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases were more prevalent.
One of the major reasons is that in older people and those with pre-existing conditions, there is a diminishment of the virus-fighting RNA that helps attack viruses in the human body. This is a likely factor why these groups are also identified as high-risk due to weak immunity.
In these cases, there are additional health problems like obesity, weakness, respiratory problems and low levels of energy which create an environment in the body wherein the virus can thrive. In Mumbai, about 80% of the COVID-19 victims had some co-morbidities. Additionally, age-related comorbidities too have impacted the figures due to changes in immunity response in the human body due to increasing age. Lower immunity also results in prolonged recovery periods, and in many cases, can even lead to complications. So, it becomes important for those with existing conditions as well as medical practitioners to make sure that this high-risk bracket is enabled to take preventive measures.
Firstly, the most important thing is to be aware and identify what you're going through. Understand your symptoms, your immunity and get a thorough check-up and consultation done. Many hospitals provide virtual consultation or tele- consultations. Proper knowledge of the diseases is crucial in planning out preventive strategies and monitoring progress. A balanced diet that helps in controlling blood pressure, sugar levels and helps combat obesity is vital to build immunity and avoid entering the high-risk list. Regular exercise while maintaining social distancing is ideal for those who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Regularly monitoring of your health and taking the required medication on time are also very important.
Apart from these steps taken on an individual level, medical professionals should also try to encourage everyone to follow general preventive measures. As India's healthcare system is overburdened, each person must do their bit to stay safe and keep others safe. Prevention is the most effective weapon and those with pre-existing and underlying medical conditions should be encouraged to follow five basic rules at all times - diet, exercise, monitor, medication and hygiene. Apart from these, if someone who is high risk suspects that they have symptoms, they should immediately consult a doctor. We have online consultations that make it safer and easier to take an opinion over a call. These options should be utilized as a delay in getting proper treatment in such cases could sometimes be detrimental to the patient's health. So follow preventive measures but also take prompt action when necessary. Only then will we effectively combat COVID-19 at the earliest!
(Dr Bharat Agarwal, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information, health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems like diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, weight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.