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On Hypertension and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance from Adam K. Veron

On Hypertension and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance from Adam K. Veron

With the novel coronavirus pandemic raging across the United States, there is a risk of infection associated with any public activity. People suffering from hypertension must be extra careful when outside because, according to experts, those with hypertension are more at risk for contracting severe symptoms that are associated with COVID-19. The virus may also reduce the efficacy of hypertension medicines. According to https://www.euro.who.int, 80% of deaths from COVID-19 are due to co-morbidity, including co-morbidity associated with hypertension. Such conditions reduce immune power against the virus. So, what should people with high blood pressure do to safeguard themselves better against COVID-19?

Adam K. Veron advises to follow standard prevention measures more strictly

The same set of measures that are being advised for the general population should also be followed by people with hypertension – however, such measures should be taken more seriously, and practiced with more discipline. These actions include washing your hands with soap and water frequently, for at least 20 seconds at a time, especially before eating, after touching public surfaces, after coughing or sneezing, and after using the bathroom. Moreover, use napkins to create a barrier when touching high-traffic surfaces like elevator buttons, doorknobs, and banisters. In the absence of soap and water, using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content is a safe alternative – however, sanitizer does not work when the hands are wet, dirty or greasy. Avoid shaking hands, giving hugs, or touching the eyes, the nose, or the mouth. Adam K. Veron also recommends disinfecting high touch surfaces in your home regularly. 

The CDC advises people to avoid crowded spaces. This can be accomplished by asking friends or family to take care of your daily needs for you, like grocery runs, prescription pick-ups, etc. Try to accomplish as much as you can from home; for instance, instead of going to the gym, work out from home. Rather than going out and meeting up with a friend, opt for a Facetime or Zoom call.

Strengthen your immune system

Your risk of infection is reduced when your immune system is strong. Since it is likely that people with hypertension already have compromised immunity, they should make healthier lifestyle choices to boost their immune systems. Things that can help include eating balanced meals with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, getting at least seven to eight hours of restful sleep, following a uniform daily schedule, taking time off to exercise and relax, keeping hydrated, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol. Keep watch of your blood sugar levels if you are diabetic. Focus on maintaining a low-sugar diet with whole grains, vegetables, and lean meats. Exercise often, take your prescribed medicines regularly, and work your hardest to treat your body the best you possibly can.

Even after taking every preventative measure, infection is still possible. Keep in touch with family, friends, and caregivers who can help you stock up on essentials if you need to quarantine at home. If you have a fever, cough, or breathlessness, give your doctor a call before visiting the ER to prevent exposure to yourself or others. Isolate yourself from others as much as possible. In the event that you do test positive for COVID-19, follow your doctor’s advice to recover quickly.

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