Treatment of peripheral artery disease

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and Diabetes

Major goals for treatment of peripheral artery disease include managing presenting symptoms such as severe leg pain and stopping the progression of atherosclerosis throughout the body to reduce additional risks of life-threatening conditions including heart attack and stroke.

Treatment option depends entirely on affected site and severity of narrowed arteries.

  • In early stage of peripheral artery disease, primary treatment is a combination of a supervised exercise training program to increase the distance that patients can walk pain-free with the use of medications e.g. cholesterol-lowering medications, anti-hypertensive drugs, blood sugar lowering drugs, medications to prevent blood clots and symptom-relief medications.

  • In moderate to severe cases, non-surgical treatment called “angioplasty” might be additionally needed. During this procedure, a small hollow tube (catheter) is threaded through a blood vessel to the affected artery. A mesh framework called a stent might be further inserted in the artery to help keeping it open.

  •  This surgical technique allows blood to flow around the blocked or narrowed artery.

  • Prevention of peripheral artery disease

    The best possible way to prevent peripheral artery disease is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes:

    • Smoking cessation
    • In case of being diabetic, blood sugar must be kept in good control.
    • Blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels must be kept in a normal range, if applicable.
    • Exercise regularly, aiming for 30 minutes each time and 3 times a week. It should be continued for at least 6 months consecutively.
    • After walking, if pain exhibits in particular areas such as foot, calf and leg, immediate medical attention must be sought as soon as possible.

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TREATMENT aortic aneurysm

Treatment of aortic aneurysm

In asymptomatic patients, treatment of an aortic aneurysm is based on the size of an aneurysm, how fast it is growing, and the risk of rupture. If an aneurysm is large and fast-growing, a surgical treatment is indicated.

In patients who have symptoms such as chest pain, abdominal pain or compression of adjacent organs; surgery is highly recommended.

Small aneurysms rarely rupture and are usually treated with high blood pressure medicines. This helps lower blood pressure and stress on the aortic wall. In patients who are at risk of coronary artery disease, a doctor may suggest the patient to exercise more, eat a healthy diet, and stop smoking. If the patient has high cholesterol, a doctor may prescribe medicine to help lower cholesterol.

Currently, there are two methods of aortic aneurysm repair called open repair and endovascular aneurysm repair. Endovascular aneurysm repair is increasingly popular since it is a less invasive procedure with a lower mortality rate while also providing long term efficacy compared to open repair.

“Although it is possible to repair a ruptured aortic aneurysm with emergency surgery, the risk is much higher and there are higher chances of complications where the mortality rate is more than 50%. However, if an aortic aneurysm is treated before rupture, the success rate of treatment is over 95%.”

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9 Key Tips For Keeping Health Healthy

▷ What is a healthy lifestyle? - Dos, don'ts, benefits & more | Adia

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women worldwide. The best possible way to prevent heart disease is to take good care of the heart. To stay fit and remain healthy, here are nine key tips that help improving the heart to work more efficiently.

1) Avoiding Excessive Food Consumption:

Excessive food consumption especially salty, sweet and fatty diet can potentially lead to increase the risks of developing heart disease. Researches suggest that certain diets containing high fat and cholesterol significantly raise the risk cardiovascular illnesses, such as atherosclerosis, a disorder in which arteries can lose their elasticity. The recommended proportion is 6-6-1, representing sugar less than 6 teaspoons, fat less than 6 teaspoons and salt limited to 1 teaspoon.

2) Eating More Whole-Grain Cereal:

High intake of whole-grain cereal is strongly linked to lowered risks of heart disease and hypertension. Several nutrients found in cereals have known potential mechanisms for reducing risk factors of heart disease e.g. the linoleic acid, fiber, vitamin E, selenium and folate. Cereals also contain phytoestrogens and several phenolic acids with antioxidant properties. Not only to control blood lipid levels e.g. cholesterol, whole-grain cereals help reducing blood sugar level, resulting in lowered risk of developing diabetes.

3) Heavy Exercise Should Be Avoided:

According to the American Heart Association, exercising 30 minutes a day five days a week helps improving heart health and reducing risk of heart disease. However, in patients diagnosed with heart conditions, heavy or extreme exercise and activities must be strictly avoided. Prolonged strenuous exercise stimulate the heart to work even harder and it can increase risk of abnormal rhythms e.g. atrial fibrillation, characterized by rapid and irregular beating of the atrial chambers of the heart. In healthy people, fat burning exercises are recommended such as running, walking, cycling and swimming.

4) Getting Sufficient Sleep With Proper Bedtime

Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who do not sleep sufficiently are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease regardless of other factors e.g. weight, age, smoking and exercise habits. Over time, this can lead to higher blood pressure during the day and a greater chance of cardiovascular problems. The researchers also found that keeping sleep duration at least 6–8 hours per night can reduce the risk of heart disease and other health problems. More importantly, to get healthy sleep pattern, proper bedtime is before midnight.

5) Wearing A Smart Watch To Monitor Heart Health:

Recent researches have shown the efficacy of wearable devices such as smart watch in improving the screening and detection of heart conditions e.g. atrial fibrillation. Mobile health technologies such as smart watches, fitness trackers and other phone applications have the potential to monitor heart rates during daily activities and enhance heart disease detection, resulting in early diagnosis made by expert cardiologists. Advanced medical technology designed and used in the hospitals, for instance, health application that is connected with hospital systems enables doctors and other healthcare staff to monitor health status of the patients, especially in case of emergency.

6) Frequent Traveling With Active Movement:

Traveling, particularly in the nature with fresh air plays a role in improving heart health since high concentration of oxygen allows the heart to work more efficiently. In addition, gentle hiking with proper distance promotes physical movements and strengths physical fitness.

7) Quit Smoking:

Chemicals in cigarette cause the blood to thicken and form clots inside veins and arteries. Blockage from a clot can lead to a heart attack and sudden death. In addition, smoking also damages the lining of the arteries, leading to a build up of fatty material which narrows the artery. When arteries tighten, it makes the heart work harder.

8) Seeking For Genetic Screening If There Is Family History Of Heart Disease:

Genetic testing for inherited heart disease can primarily predict the risks to develop heart conditions related to genetic mutations in patients with family history of hereditary heart disease. The standard recommendation is to continue annual check-ups regularly, especially in people aged over 40.

9) Proper Exercise Programs For Patients With Heart Diseases:

A number of patients with cardiac disease might not know the appropriate exercise programs that are suitable for them.  The programs are determined by disease severity, lasting impacts of the disease and overall health’s status of each patient.

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Why Measure Blood Sugar Levels?

Needle-Free Diabetes: 8 Devices that Painlessly Measure Blood Glucose

Why should we measure blood sugar levels?

  • To diagnose individuals displaying symptoms or who are at risk of diabetes

  • To evaluate a treatment or assess potential complications that may result from diabetes.

  • To prevent complications that may occur from having too high or too low blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes There are two methods for measuring blood sugar levels for diabetes

  • SMBG (  Self-Monitoring  of  Blood  Glucose )

Is a measurement of blood sugar levels in the blood, the difference are that this is a self-check which can be done regularly and at any time. The benefit is the persons with diabetes are able to care for themselves. For example, in
case of low blood sugar which can lead to dizziness, heart palpitations,sweat, and hunger, the individual can use the blood glucose apparatus and perform a self-diagnosis. Being informed of one's blood glucose levels will
help you control and maintain it at an appropriate level.

The goal of SMBG is to control diabetes

Diabetic         Blood Sugar before food         =     80 –  130  mg/dL

Glucose levels 2 hours after food below 180  mg/dL

Non-Diabetic     Blood Sugar before food         =     70  –  99    mg/dL

Glucose levels 2 hours after food below 140  mg/dL

•      Measuring blood sugar after a 2-3 month period. This can only be done in a hospital setting. Is important is evaluating treatment and prevention of complications that may occur from diabetes in the long-term such as kidney deterioration, eye deterioration, cardiovascular system and nervous system deterioration.

 HbA1c Participants for Evaluation of Diabetes

Normal Readings (no diabetes)          =     below 5.7 mg%

At risk of diabetes         =     5.7 – 6.4 mg%

Diabetes                       =     more than or equal to 6.5 mg%

For individuals diagnosed with diabetes the goal is to control the diabetes by keeping HbA1c below   7 mg%

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Get in shape for surgery: 5 ways to have the best chance of recovery

1. Look after your mental health How are you feeling? Common things that people tell us while they are waiting for surgery include “I feel overwhelmed”, “I’m anxious I’ll get coronavirus in hospital” or “my surgery keeps getting rescheduled and I feel powerless”. It’s normal to feel worried.

If your concern is about coronavirus, remember that hospitals have systems in place to allow people who have coronavirus to be separated from people who don’t, as well as extra hygiene measures in place, so that the risk of getting the virus is as low as possible.

2. Move a bit more

mature woman exercising at home

Getting active before surgery will benefit most people. This is because your heart and lungs will have to work harder after an operation to help your body to heal. Regular exercise makes your heart and lungs stronger, so they’ll be in the best possible shape to help you heal.

In a study at McMaster University, Canada, people waiting for bypass surgery exercised twice a week in the run-up to the operation. They did a warm-up, around 30 minutes of aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking, and a cool-down. They spent on average one day less in hospital than those who hadn’t done the exercise programmed, and, six months after surgery, reported better quality of life.

Similarly, in a study run by King’s College Hospital, London, people over 65 waiting for bypass or valve surgery did at-home balance and strengthening exercises. They were encouraged to keep a home exercise diary and during telephone consultations, they would be encouraged, and praised for their efforts. The research found they were fitter and less frail on average after the surgery than the comparison group. You could try your own exercise programmed – have you ever thought of keeping an exercise diary as well as asking someone to encourage you for your efforts?

  • Anyone can get more active. Even if you can’t exercise standing up there are things you can do. Find out how you can safely get more active before your surgery.

  • Try an app on your phone to help you set goals and track your progress, such as ‘Active 10 walking tracker’ and ‘Couch to 5K’.

  • A lot of people find they’re more motivated when they exercise with other people and love the support and encouragement it brings. Could you do a weekly walk with a friend or loved one, or join an online class together?

3. Eat the right things

warming bowl of soup

When you’re about to have surgery, your diet may be the furthest thing from your mind. But what you eat before your procedure may help you recover faster. Improving your diet before your surgery improves immune health, reduces your risk of infection, provides your body with the nutrients it needs for tissue healing, and may help you get home from the hospital faster.

While you’re waiting for surgery, focus on eating a healthy balanced diet filled with a variety of foods from all the food groups. By doing this, you’ll get all the nutrients that support healing and fight off infection.

The best things to eat before surgery include:

  • Healthy proteins, such as fish, chicken, eggs, beans, soy, tofu, nuts, lean red meat
  • Grains, such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, brown pasta, quinoa
  • Fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions a day
  • Dairy, low-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt, or fortified plant-milk alternatives
  • Healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds
  • Find some great heart-healthy recipe ideas

You may need to make a few changes to your diet as you get closer to the date of your surgery. You will be given specific instructions on what you need to do at your pre-operative assessment.

4. Manage your weight

feet stepping onto scales

One way to improve your recovery after surgery is to make sure you’re a healthy weight before the surgery. Once you know your weight you can check your BMI and see if you’re underweight, a healthy weight or overweight.

Being overweight increases the risk of complications during surgery, such as breathing problems, blood clots, infections, slower recovery and longer hospital stays. So you may be advised to lose weight before the surgery. For most people, losing even a little weight before the operation will help reduce your risk of complications.

  • See our tips for losing weight

For many people who are struggling to lost weight, changing their portion sizes makes all the difference. You can find out about the right portion sizes for different foods with our interactive portion size guide.

  • Learn more about managing your weight

Being underweight can also increase risks from surgery and slow down the rate at which you recover. If you’ve been poorly then you may have lost your appetite and lost weight, and your body might not be getting the calories and nutrients it needs. If this is the case, your GP may have referred you to a dietitian; if not then you can ask them to. They could advise a special diet or supplements to make sure you’re still getting what you need before your surgery.

5. Take your medication

Statin pills

It’s always important to take any heart medication you’re prescribed, but if you’re waiting for surgery, it’s more important than ever. Heart medications will help keep your condition under control whilst you’re waiting for surgery, so that you feel better during the waiting period. And they reduce the risk of you having a serious event that could mean that your surgery can’t go ahead.

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Early Puberty: Speak To Your Doctor If You Spot These Signs

Early Puberty
Early Puberty

Puberty is a natural process and occurs when a child’s body begins to develop and change as they become adults. However, it may not be a good sign if your child starts puberty too early. Parents need to be educated about the signs of early puberty, also called precocious puberty, as these physical changes could psychologically affect your child more than you think.

It is important for parents to pay attention to these signs of early puberty.

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Signs And Symptoms In Boys
Before age 9

  • Enlarged testicles and penis
  • Pubic or underarm hair
  • Facial hair on the upper lips
  • Deepening voice
  • Chest development
  • Muscle development
  • Acne and adult body odor
  • Rapid height growth or a growth spurt

img

Signs And Symptoms In Girls
Before age 9

  • Breast development
  • Pubic and underarm hair
  • Changes in body shape e.g. waistline and hips become more evident
  • Start of menstruation
  • Acne and adult body odor
  • Rapid height growth or a growth spurt

Diagnosing Early Puberty Or Precocious Puberty

  • Consult with your doctor to develop a profile
  • X-ray imaging to assess the bone maturity
  • Hormonal blood testing
  • MRI scan to investigate any possible causes
  • Ultrasound scan to assess the ovaries

reatment For Precocious Puberty

  • Treating any underlying cause
  • Using medication to reduce hormone levels and pause sexual development
  • Evaluating the symptoms regularly

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Frequently Asked Questions About Rotavirus

Rotavirus Symptoms

Rotavirus is a highly contagious virus that causes severe diarrhea in children and adults. Many people are wondering what are the symptoms of rotavirus infection and when to see a doctor.

How do you know that you are infected with rotavirus?

Answer: Rotavirus is a viral infection that causes acute diarrhea. It is less severe than diarrhea caused by bacterial infection. However, it is difficult to tell whether it is rotavirus infection from the symptoms. The symptoms of rotavirus infection are fever, vomiting, watery diarrhea, bloody stool. These can lead to dehydration in children and elders.

When you should go to see a doctor?

Answer: If there are these symptoms, the patient should go to see a doctor immediately.
1. Signs of dehydration e.g. little or no urination, lethargic, and unusual sleepiness

  1. Severe diarrhea and vomiting for more than 2 days
  2. Have blood in vomit or bowel movements
  3. Nausea and vomiting – cannot keep water or food down

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10 Facts About Novel Coronavirus

Information regarding the corona virus | Sámi University of Applied Sciences

Coronaviruses are defined as a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Common signs of coronavirus infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Examples of coronaviruses include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus, named COVID-19 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The current outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease that was first reported from Wuhan, China has becoming one of the most worrisome issues in global healthcare since numbers of infected patients have been reported in several countries across the world. Understanding about facts of novel coronavirus and appropriate prevention greatly help to minimize the risk of infections. Get to know more about novel coronavirus. 

1. How Can Infected Patients Be Identified? 

Regarding a novel coronavirus outbreak, it has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). Recently, health authorities have been working intensively to contain the spread of the disease since its discovery in China in December, 2019. However, particularly in Thailand, the number of infected patients is considerably low and infectious situation is under control since the highly strict immigration control has been implemented with proactive screening protocol. The signs and symptoms of novel coronavirus disease vary ranging from mild to severe conditions. Manifestations include fever, sore throat, pneumonitis, pneumonia and even death. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is estimated at 2 to 10 days by WHO and 2 to 14 days by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suspected patients will be confined based on the screening protocol if they have potential contributing factors including previous traveling history to endemic areas especially Wuhan or any part of China,  exposure to infected patients with  presenting signs and symptoms. If infection is suspected, patients will be individually isolated into the negative pressure room for further investigations and treatments if required.  All healthcare providers such as doctors and nurses safely and carefully handle infected patients while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

2. What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Novel Coronavirus Disease? 

To isolate suspected cases of a novel coronavirus disease, there are 2 criteria, including:

  • Previous traveling history to Wuhan or other specified endemic areas within the last 14 days or previous exposure to infected patients with a novel coronavirus disease.

  • Presenting with signs and symptoms e.g. common cold symptoms, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, muscle pain, fatigue, breathing difficulties with or without fever.

If patients have possessed these criteria, isolation to further investigate a novel coronavirus disease and other possible causes is strongly indicated. Vice versa, if these criteria are both absent, there is no requirement for being isolated.

3. Does Wearing Masks Entirely Help To Prevent A Novel Coronavirus Infection? 

Although a novel coronavirus has shown severe clinical symptoms and complications especially in patients with impaired immune system, the principal mode of transmission, similar to other coronaviruses, is thought to be aerosol droplets expelled when an infected individual coughs or sneezes within a range of 6 feet (or approximately 1.8 meters).   In addition, coronavirus droplets stay suspended in the air for a short time. It can also stay viable and contagious on a metal, glass or plastic surface for up to several days. In addition, close contact with an infectious person such as shaking hands or touching a doorknob, tabletop or other surfaces can also transmit viruses to the others.

Recommended measures to prevent infection depend on the likelihood of a person coming into contact with the disease. Those who are infected must wear a surgical mask, especially when in public in order to reduce viral transmission. By limiting the volume and travel distance of expiratory droplets dispersed when sneezing, coughing or talking, masks can serve a public health benefit in reducing transmission by those unknowingly infected. Masks are also recommended for those who have to take care of someone who may have the disease. Besides wearing masks in healthy people, other recommendations include frequent washing of hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub and not touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth unless the hands are clean. In addition, People in high risk areas should take additional precautions even people who are not displaying symptoms.

4. Is Coronavirus Disease Curable?

Even though a novel coronavirus disease seems to be frightening due to its outbreak, a novel coronavirus disease, in fact, is self-limiting especially if individual’s immune system works properly. Many of those who died had underlying conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and being the elderly that impaired their immune systems. Recently, there is no definite treatment for a novel coronavirus disease. Principal treatments involve symptomatic or supportive approaches based primarily on a wide range of symptoms and complications such as mild or severe pneumonia, kidney failure and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. If severe complications such as sepsis and septic shock present, intensive care is highly needed. The current medications that have been used to treat a novel coronavirus disease include Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) used in HIV patients and certain antiviral drugs used to attack flu virus.

5. Is There Any Vaccine Acting Against Coronavirus Disease? 

Even though science is racing to develop vaccines to blunt the outbreak’s impact. Currently, there is no specific vaccine to prevent infections against novel coronavirus disease. To clarify the myth, influenza vaccines or flu shots are vaccines that only protect against infection caused by influenza viruses, NOT coronaviruses. Therefore being vaccinated with influenza vaccines does not help minimizing the risks of novel coronavirus infections. In addition, vaccination schedule must be followed the medical recommendations.

6. Does Pneumococcal Vaccine Help To Prevent A Novel Coronavirus Disease? Do Elderly People Essentially Require Pneumococcal Vaccine? 

Pneumococcal vaccines can protect against pneumococcal disease, which is any type of infection caused by bacteria –Streptococcus pneumoniae. Their use can prevent some cases of pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis. There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines: conjugate vaccines and polysaccharide vaccines. These vaccines are essentially recommended in patients with impaired immune functions such as the elderly and patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Pneumococcal vaccines, however, do not have any roles to act against a novel coronavirus disease.

7. Is The Treatment Plan Of A Novel Coronavirus Disease Similar To The Treatment Of Influenza? 

Although a novel coronavirus belongs to coronaviruses, it may cause more severe symptoms than other members in the same family do. Life-threatening conditions caused by a novel coronavirus might include lower respiratory tract infections e.g. pneumonia, pneumonitis, sepsis and septic shock. Immunocompromized hosts such as the elderly with certain underlying diseases are at greater risks to develop fatal conditions. If infection is suspected, isolation must be conducted as the first priority in order to confine the transmission to the others. Primary treatments mainly involve supportive or symptomatic care. Intensive care unit might required if patients manifest severe complications.

8. How To Prevent Coronavirus Infection? 

Recommendations to prevent a novel coronavirus disease include frequent washing of hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub, avoiding touching facial area e.g. eyes, nose and mouth unless the hands are clean to prevent viral spreading to respiratory system and avoiding close contact to suspected patients. In addition, wearing masks is highly advised for those who are infected, especially when in public in order to reduce viral transmission. Masks are also recommended for those who have to take care of someone who may have the disease.

9. How To Properly Wear And Dispose Of Used Masks?

The WHO advises the following practices for mask usage:

  • Place mask carefully to cover mouth and nose and tie securely to minimize any gaps between the face and the mask. While in use, avoid touching the mask;

  • Remove the mask by using appropriate technique, do not touch the front but remove the lace from behind;

  • After removal or whenever inadvertently touch a used mask, clean hands by using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water if visibly soiled; and

  • Do not re-use single-use masks. Discard single-use masks after each use and dispose of them immediately upon removal. The inner side of used masks must be folded and thrown away into infectious waste.

10. Is Hand Cleaning With Alcohol-Based Hand Rub As Effective As Cleaning With Soap And Water?

The effectiveness of alcohol-based hand rub or hand sanitizer with at least 60% – 70% alcohol is considerably equal to soap and water. The concentration of alcohol can be noticed from the attached labels.

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Prevention of COVID-19

COVID-19 อันตรายถึงหัวใจ

To control endemic spread of COVID-19, public awareness in reducing disease transmission must be raised. Recommendations made by WHO and health authorities include:

  • Frequent washing of hands with soap and water which takes at least 20 seconds per time.  Alcohol-based hand rub  can be also used. Alcohol-based hand rub or hand sanitizer with at least 60% – 70% alcohol is considerably equal to soap and water. Washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on the hands.

  • Wearing medical/surgical masks properly by placing mask carefully to entirely cover mouth and nose. Masks  must be tied securely to minimize any gaps between the nose and the mask. While in use, avoid touching the mask. To remove the mask, the lace should be removed from behind. After removal or whenever inadvertently touching a used mask, hands must be cleaned by using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water if visibly soiled. Do not re-use single-use masks. Discard single-use masks after each use and dispose of them immediately upon removal. The inner side of used masks must be folded and thrown away into infectious waste.  By limiting the volume and travel distance of expiratory droplets dispersed when sneezing, coughing or talking, masks can serve a public health benefit in reducing transmission by those unknowingly infected.

  • Healthy people are accepted to wear medical-grade masks while suspected or infected patients need to wear surgical face masks and N95 respirators in order to limit disease transmission.

  • Touching face, eyes, nose, mouth must be avoided. Hands touch many surfaces and can accidentally pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to the eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter the body and cause disease.

  • Good respiratory hygiene is essentially vital. During sneezing or coughing, instead of using hands, it is highly recommended to cover the mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue, then used tissue must be disposed immediately in the contaminated garbage. If hands are used to cover the mouth and nose, hand wash is always needed.

  • Since coronavirus droplets stay suspended in the air for a short time and it can also stay viable and contagious on a metal, glass or plastic surface for up to several days, touching surfaces e.g. a doorknob, tabletop, staircase railing, lift buttons and IT equipment must be frequently cleaned with alcohol or soap and water, depending on material types.

  • Visiting congested places such as cinemas, shopping malls, food courts, bus stations, train stations, airports should be avoided. If necessary, exposure time must be as short as possible. Wearing masks and frequent hand wash are crucial.

  • Viruses can be excreted via stool, covering the toilet lid while flushing is definitely essential in order to reduce the transmission of viruses in the air. Toilet disinfectants might be helpful and can be also used.

  • Even though science is racing to develop vaccines to blunt the outbreak’s impact. Currently, there is no specific vaccine to prevent infections against COVID-19 disease. Although symptoms caused by COVID-19 are fairly similar to those induced by influenza viruses, influenza vaccines or flu shots are vaccines that only protect against infection caused by influenza viruses, NOT coronaviruses. Therefore being vaccinated with influenza vaccines does not help minimizing the risks of novel coronavirus infections.

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COVID-19 and heart disease

Why Heart Disease and Hypertension Put Patients at Greater Risk of  Contracting COVID-19

Current estimated incubation period of COVID-19 ranges from 2 to 14 days. The spread of COVID-19 only happens after symptoms of infected patients manifest. Each infected patient could averagely transmit disease to 2-4 people, depending on seasons and population density in particular areas.   The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 disease vary ranging from mild to severe conditions. Presenting signs and symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, fatigue or malaise, muscle ache, headache, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Life-threatening manifestations are pneumonitis, pneumonia, heart failure and eventually death.

Medical researched published on The Lancet strongly indicates that patients with chronic medical conditions, particularly heart diseases have greater risks of death if they become infected with COVID-19. Current statistical data points out that up to 40% of patients who died from COVID-19 have cardiovascular diseases and neurovascular diseases e.g. brain aneurysms and stroke. When these particular patients are infected with COVID-19, the infection leads to cardiac arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeat (17%), myocardial infarction defined as irreversible death of heart muscle (7%), circulatory failure (9%) and acute kidney failure (4%).  In addition, researches reveal that risks of death from COVID-19 disease significantly increase in patients who have underlying diseases. Medical information derived from 138 infected cases in Wuhan, China indicates that infected patients who required intensive care have underlying diseases: hypertension (58%), diabetes (22%), cardiovascular diseases (25%) and neurovascular diseases (17%). In terms of provided treatments, 76% of patients infected with COVID-19 needed oxygen therapy, 13% of patients needed non-invasive ventilation (e.g. face mask) while 4% of infected patients required mechanical ventilators. In severe cases, 3% of patients required  ECMO machine (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) that supports for both the lungs and the heart.

Since chronic medical conditions significantly increase the risks of death from COVID-19 disease particularly in the elderly aged over 60 with cardiovascular and neurovascular problems, annual health checkups and lifestyle modifications that enhance immune function are highly recommended. Blood lipid and blood sugar levels must be strictly controlled in order to reduce risks of developing coronary artery disease. Unhealthy habits e.g. physical inactivity and smoking must be also avoided.

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