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Who Is at Higher Risk of Severe Illness If Infected With COVID-19?

Sunday, March 29, 2020 @ 12:03 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

photo-1550792436-181701c71f63The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered the following COVID-19 guidance regarding individuals who are at a higher risk of severe illness.

COVID-19 is a new disease, and there is limited information regarding the risk factors. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • People age 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Other high-risk conditions could include:
    • – People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • – People who have serious heart conditions
    • – People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
    • – People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.


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