Who is most at risk of getting infected with COVID-19?

  • People older than 65
  • People with preexisting health conditions
  • People  who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
  • People  who are pregnant or obese.

What kinds of preexisting health conditions make someone more susceptible?

Most health conditions increase susceptibility, including, but not limited to: chronic lung disease, asthma, HIV, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer patients who have recently undergone chemotherapy or radiation, sickle cell anemia, kidney disease requiring dialysis, and cirrhosis of the liver or lack of spleen function. 

Although older people and those with preexisting medical conditions or weakened immune systems have shown to be most susceptible to contracting the disease, the young and healthy are hardly immune. The White House’s coronavirus task force is now warning that younger people may also be highly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Dr. Deborah Birx—who has aided the federal government’s response to coronavirus—has issued a public warning that younger adults can also become very sick with coronavirus, based on preliminary data from Europe. “There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill, and very seriously ill in the ICUs,” she recently stated.

What to do if you’re at higher risk

Those who believe themselves to be at higher risk of contracting the virus should take basic precautions such as stocking up on essential supplies or taking advantage of “senior hours” that many stores and businesses are offering to particularly vulnerable shoppers. But the safest bet is to stay indoors at home as much as possible, practice social distancing, and contact your doctor immediately should you experience any symptoms.

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