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A medical society in Japan is urging coronavirus patients to engage in appropriate exercise and drink water to avoid so-called economy-class syndrome.

The Japanese Society of Phlebology has released a document on its website warning of the risks of the syndrome, also called deep vein thrombosis, in which blood clots form in the legs and block pulmonary veins, resulting in difficulty in breathing and sometimes death.

It is believed that blood clots are easily formed in those infected with the coronavirus, and there have been reports overseas of coronavirus patients having a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Economy-class syndrome occurs as a result of leg immobility for long periods of time, which occurs frequently for those who must lie down while recovering from COVID-19.

As of Sept. 1, more than 200,000 COVID-19 patients were recuperating at home or facilities, such as hospitals and hotels, in Japan, according to the health ministry.

The society recommends walking or exercising indoors in line with patients’ health conditions. Moving the toes up and down while lying down is also effective in preventing the syndrome, as is massaging the calves.

Dehydration can also lead to deep vein thrombosis, so the society is calling on people to drink water or tea that does not include caffeine, a diuretic, and to frequently hydrate when experiencing prolonged fevers.

It advises patients to consult with their doctors if their fluid intake is limited due to heart disease and other conditions.

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