Cardiovascular system and COVID-19: perspectives from a developing country
A novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, thought to have originated from bats causes COVID-19 infection which was first reported from Wuhan, China in December 2019. This virus has a high infectivity rate and has impacted a significant chunk of the population worldwide. The spectrum of disease ranges from mild to severe with respiratory system being the most commonly affected. Cardiovascular system often gets involved in later stages of the disease with acute cardiac injury, heart failure and arrhythmias being the common complications. In addition, the presence of cardiovascular co-morbidities such as hypertension, coronary artery disease in these patients are often associated with poor prognosis. It is still not clear regarding the exact mechanism explaining cardiovascular system involvement in COVID-19. Multiple theories have been put forward however, more robust studies are required to fully elucidate the “heart and virus” link. The disease has already made its presence felt on the global stage and its impact in the developing countries is going to be profound. These nations not only have a poorly developed healthcare system but there is also a huge burden of cardiovascular diseases. As a result, COVID-19 would adversely impact the already overburdened healthcare network leading to impaired cardiovascular care delivery especially for acute coronary syndrome and heart failure patients.
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