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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.

Expert Shares Tips For Managing Comorbidities During COVID-19 Pandemic

Medical professionals should encourage everyone to follow general preventive measures


  1. Elderly or people with comorbidities are considered to be at high risk
  2. They have a comparitively weak immunity
  3. 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.

Also read: Elderly Care In Times Of COVID-19: Here's What You Need To Ensure

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.


Taking adequate precautions is important for the elderly and people with comorbidities
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: COVID-19: Effective Tips To Clean And Disinfect Your House Properly

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.

Also read: Asthma Management In Times Of COVID-19: Expert Guidelines To Stay Safe

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)

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