What are the uncommon signs and symptoms of Corona virus infection?
We know that the common signs of corona virus infection are fever, cough, shortness of breath, running nose and sore throat. However, coronavirus may cause some medical issues which are less commonly recognised
1. Eye infections: conjunctivitis
2. Skin problems: skin rashes (hives to measles like rash), bluish discolouration of the toes /fingers, vasculitis, purpuric rashes etc
3. Gastric symptoms: includes poor appetite and diarrhoea
4. Cardiac: cardiac injury (myocarditis), coronary artery disease, venous thromboembolism, arrythmias
5. Neurological: hyposmia/anosmia (reduced sense of smell), ageusia/hypogeusia (reduced taste) , headache, loss of consciousness, dizziness, neuralgic pain and muscle injury
Are you at risk of corona virus infection?
Although anyone can develop corona virus infection, some people are at increased risk of corona virus infections. If you have the following medical conditions you are at excess risk 1. Age more than 65 years 2. Diabetes mellitus 3. Any heart disease 4. Kidney disease 5. Asthma and Chronic Pulmonary Disease 6. Anyone on oral/injectable steroids 7. Cancer and cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Take extra precautions in case you have any of these conditions.
Always remember that you can contract the infection only if you are in close contact with someone with infection. Following all precautions can prevent you from having a corona virus infection.
Are people using certain drugs for blood pressure at increased risk for COVID 19 infections?
Certain concerns have been raised about certain drugs used in hypertension and diabetes to increase the risk of COVID infection. As of date there are no scientific proof to discontinue these medicines. In fact, there is some science that discontinuing drugs like ACEI (e.g. ramipril) and ARB (e.g. Telmisartan, Losartan) can in fact be harmful. Many professional organisations including the American and European Society of Cardiology recommends that you don’t discontinue any medicines that you are on without consulting your doctor.
Will keeping my blood glucose under control help me for preventing coronavirus infection?
It seems so. One of the reasons people with diabetes are prone to viral respiratory infections is due to the increased blood glucose. Having high blood glucose reduces immunity and also promotes some mechanisms by which the COVID-19 virus attacks the lungs. Keeping the blood glucose under check can help reduce the risk of COVID 19 infections
What are the general precautions I can follow to prevent corona virus infections?
Since the virus spreads mostly by aerosols, we should avoid contact with people who have COVID 19 infection. This is especially true of people with cough, fever, sore throat and running nose. But during the carrier stage people may not have any signs of infection, but can still spread the virus. So, it is important to practice hygiene at all times. To avoid COVID infection 1. Wash hands regularly 2. Avoid touching face, nose, mouth and eyes repeatedly 3. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Avoid everything except essential travel including travel for non-emergency medical care.