Hypertensive patients risk COVID-19 infection

− persons with underlying illnesses urged to take extra precaution

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Ministry of Public Health continues to inform and educate persons with pre-existing health conditions how they can protect themselves from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Today Family Medicine Specialist, Dr. Aneisha Moore-Thorne shared tips for persons living with Hypertension also known as High Blood Pressure.

Hypertension can lead to severe health complications and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and even death. This Non-Communicable Disease commonly affects the middle-aged and elderly populations, Dr. Moore-Thorne explained.

“Since hypertension is more common as people grow older, that means many of the same people with high blood pressure already overlap with the elderly population known to be at risk for contracting COVID-19 and for developing the very severe complications of the disease should they contract it.”

The doctor noted that COVID-19, like any other viral illness, will severely damage the respiratory system, making it harder for the heart to work.

“This is something that already happens with hypertension. This, in turn, can lead to worsening symptoms,” she emphasised.

The following tips can help hypertensive patients reduce their possibilities of contracting the virus:

  • Keep monitoring your blood pressure, as far as you are able and is possible. Remember it’s important to rest for at least 15 minutes before taking the blood pressure.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle – i.e. exercise for at least 30 minutes, at least 3 times per week and eat a balanced diet, low in salt and oils
  • Keep taking your medications. Ensure that you take them as prescribed by your doctor; right dose, right time
  • Avoid stressful situations, or if unavoidable, manage them well

Dr. Moore-Thorne also advised that persons should follow the guidelines implemented by the Ministry of Public Health including frequent hand washing and sanitising, social distancing, wearing a face mask and staying at home.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.