A heart attack is a serious condition which involves the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked. Symptoms often include chest pain, dizziness and sweating. The condition can be life-threatening and shares one of its symptoms with coronavirus COVID-19.
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The new coronavirus was first reported late December. As of March 11, it had affected more than 100 countries.
The main symptoms of the disease are a high temperature and a new, continuous cough. For most people – 80 percent of cases – symptoms are mild.
However, the virus can cause severe illness with complications such as pneumonia, organ failure and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who have a higher chance of getting very sick include people who are older than 60, have heart disease or lung disease.
And one of the symptoms of coronavirus the CDC lists is also a warning sign of a heart attack – shortness of breath.
The heart is a muscle which contracts to pump blood throughout the body. When a heart attack occurs, the heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood.
Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. When there isn’t enough blood flowing to the heart muscle, the affected part can get damaged or die.
This is a dangerous and sometimes deadly combination and is often why a person may find it difficult to breath.
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A person’s breathing and their heart pumping blood effectively are very closely related.
The heart pumps blood so it can circulate to the tissues as well as get oxygen from the lungs. If the heart cant pump blood well, a person will feel short of breath.
Shortness of breath can sometimes be an accompanying symptom to unusual fatigue for women.
In fact, shortness of breath is a common sign of a heart attack for women.
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How to protect yourself
The American Heart Foundation said: “A healthy diet is one of the best weapons you have to fight cardiovascular disease.
“The food you eat can affect other controllable risk factors: cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and overweight.
“Choose nutrient-rich foods which have vitamins and minerals, fibre and other nutrients but are lower in calories over nutrient-poor foods. Choose a diet that emphasizes intake of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, fish, legumes, oils and nuts and limit intake of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages and red meats.
“Try to maintain a healthy weight.”
Dr Todd Ellerin, physician at South Shore Health in Weymouth Massachusetts advised taking the following steps to best protect yourself from coronavirus:
- As much as possible, limit contact with people outside your family.
- Maintain enough distance (six feet or more) between yourself and anyone outside your family.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 to 30 seconds.
- As best you can, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
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