Instructed patient to get a flu shot each year and decrease the exposure to the flu. Avoiding the flu is especially important for people who have or are at risk for heart disease. This highly contagious infection causes symptoms similar to the common cold, only more severe, other symptoms include debilitating muscle or body aches, vomiting and diarrhea, and fever. Having a serious infection puts extra stress on your heart, which increases your heart's need for oxygen. Coughing and congestion can make breathing more difficult. As a result, your heart may not get sufficient oxygen. Patient verbalized understanding.