Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) engulfed the whole world. Till date it has affected more then 4 million people all over the world with around 3 Lakh plus deaths and counting. As far as recoveries of covid-19 patients, 10 Lakh people have fully recovered. Though there are some limited cases of reinfection. Covid-19 can infect anyone irrespective of gender, age, or race. But it has been observed that this deadly disease is more risky for people with Comorbidity. What is Comorbidity?
According to World Health Organization (WHO), Comorbidity means "the presence of one or more additional diseases or disorders occurring concomitantly with a primary disease or disorder." Or in other words comorbidity simply means more than one illness or disease occurring in one person at the same time. If a person suffers from more than two illnesses or diseases occurring at the same time we call it multi-morbidity.
Some common comorbid conditions found in COVIDd-19 patientsinclude:-
Chronic Lung diseases like Asthma, Bronchiectasis,Bronchitis, Emphysema, Lung Cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, Pneumonia, PleuralEffusion etc.
Serious heart ailments like Heart attack, Heart failure,Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms), Valve disorders.
Liver Disease Patients like Alagille Syndrome, AutoimmuneHepatitis, Biliary Atresia, Cirrhosis, Crigler-Najjar Syndrome.
People with diabetes and other related problems like LowBlood Glucose (Hypoglycemia), Diabetic Neuropathy, Diabetic Kidney Disease.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients like Polycystic kidneydisease (PKD), Lupus nephritis, Kidney cancer.
Apart from comorbid patients those at high risk also includeelderly people, children and pregnant women.
Aforesaid patients suffer from a weak immune system. Thus, such patients are vulnerable to the covid-19. These patients have to take extra precautions as compared to healthy ones. For People with good immunity covid-19 infection can be just like any other flu like seasonal flu, common cold etc. Some are completely asymptomatic but can prove to be silent carriers of the disease.
The disease may not affect an asymptomatic carrier but he can easily transmit the virus to others in contact. According to recent studies it is now widely understood that around the world, the bulk of the people who get infected will not show symptoms, and will probably not even know that they have contracted the virus unless they are subjected to a serological test at some point and are found to have developed antibodies.
Comorbid patients should take extra care of their underlying ailments so that they can avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals not including their routine treatment like dialysis, oxygen therapy, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Missing a dose can worsen their condition which can result in hospitalisation.
To save the vulnerable, and ourselves too, some fundamentalguidelines are provided by World Health Organization (WHO) like:-
• To kill this virus washing hands for 20 seconds with soaphas been made compulsory.
• Using hand sanitisers or any alcohol based hand rub atwork is also important.
• Use of masks is also encouraged.
• Avoid touching the mask on front side and remove it frombehind.
• In a world where social distancing is not possible, WHOhas made it mandatory because when a carrier of the virus sneezes or coughs hecan infect others as well.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth because the hands mayhave touch the surfaces containing this deadly virus.
• Maintain respiratory hygiene at home and workplace.
• Disposing off tissues used after sneezing or coughing.
• Consult the nearest health centre in case a person findsany of the symptoms of COVID -19.
• Self isolation is very important incase of any travelhistory, if visited any state affected by COVID-19 or any contact history.
According to early estimates by China's National Health Commission (NHC), about 80% of those who died were over the age of 60, and 75% of them had pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Stay home, stay safe. And take extra care of your preexisting conditions if any. Dr Majid Kirmani works at District Hospital, Baramulla