The danger posed by the Coronavirus is known to the vast majority of people. This is evident in how community quarantines are strictly implemented and how in some countries breaking quarantine is treated as a crime. The death toll numbers in the hundreds of thousands all over the world, and the fear of this public health emergency is almost palpable in the air.
As researchers and physicians combine their efforts on the frontlines to gather more information on the virus, new potential risks are discovered, especially those where the heart is concerned.
How Does COVID-19 Affect The Heart?
The virus has been found to attach to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). This enzyme is primarily found in the lungs and is how the virus is able to rapidly infect a person. It also explains why the virus is also known to be particularly harmful to the respiratory system. It’s for this reason that patients with underlying heart ailments and weak lungs are especially susceptible to the effects of the virus.
However, it should also be noted that the lining of the heart, as well as many blood vessels also have ACE 2. Again, as previously established, the COVID-19 virus attaches to ACE 2. This increases the risk of a patient experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest.
Drug-Induced Heart Attacks
Another way that the COVID-19 virus damages the heart is through a drug-induced cardiac arrest, which is a risk factor for drugs that are commonly used to treat high blood pressure and chest pains. It is not impossible that during the course of treatment, these drugs that are used to relieve some of the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection end up doing more harm than good. Medications such as hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, and ritonavir, all of which have been touted as the best treatments for COVID-19, can also cause ventricular abnormalities that could cause sudden heart failure.
As you might already know, there is no magic drink or tablet that’s going to instantly boost your immunity against the Coronavirus. This, however, does not mean that we are doomed to wait until we eventually get infected. The best way to mitigate the risk of infection is to observe proper hygiene, avoid crowded places, and to strengthen your body.
The last part can be achieved through many means such as exercising, eating healthy food, and getting enough rest. We cannot overemphasize the importance of these measures, especially that of exercise, that will also serve to strengthen your respiratory system and your cardiac system.
Even simply going for a light jog regularly can help strengthen your lungs and heart, thus increasing your resistance to the virus. As we all know, it’s much better to focus on preventing an infection rather than curing it. This is especially important if you’re living with people who are especially susceptible to the virus.
These are indeed difficult times, but the fact holds true that if we’re going to beat the Coronavirus, it’s important to understand it as best we can; whether it’s for the purpose of curing it, or preventing it. This new knowledge may be a difficult truth, but it, nonetheless, could save a life one day by making others aware of how dangerous this virus really is.