On Feb. 15, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention updated its list of underlying medical conditions for individuals who are at risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19. The agency urged people who are more likely to become sick with COVID-19 to take proper preventative measures, such as getting vaccinated or receiving a booster shot to support immunity, but it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before doing so. Additionally, some immunocompromised people, or individuals with weakened immune systems, may be eligible for a COVID-19 additional primary shot, the website noted. So, who is considered high risk for COVID-19?
Having cancer can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Some cancer treatments can weaken your body’s ability to fight off disease.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Having chronic kidney disease at any stage can be exacerbated by COVID-19. Kidney diseases prevent your blood from filtering toxins properly which can cause long-term damage. People who are at risk of developing kidney disease are individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and a family history of kidney failure.
Chronic Liver Disease
Having a chronic liver disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic liver disease can include alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, and cirrhosis (or scarring of the liver).
Chronic Lung Diseases
Having a chronic lung disease like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or bronchopulmonary dysplasia can make you severely ill if infected with COVID-19. The CDC also includes:
- Bronchiectasis (thickening of the lungs’ airways)
- Having damaged or scarred lung tissue known as interstitial lung disease (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs)
- Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)
Dementia And Neurological Conditions
Neurological conditions such as dementia, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and autism can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
Having heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension).
Mental Health Conditions
Mood disorders, including depression, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders may heighten your risk of COVID-19 illness.
The news comes as the average daily number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline around the U.S. According to data released by John Hopkins University, as of Feb. 19, cases exceeded “100,000, a sharp downturn from around 800,850” compared to just “five weeks ago on Jan. 16,” ABC News noted.
COVID-19 hospitalizations saw a slow decline with the national seven-day average hovering at 80,185 during the week of Feb. 13. Back in late January, the average number of weekly cases across the U.S was 146,534, according to the CDC COVID data tracker.
RELATED CONTENT: Why You Need To Know More About Your Family’s Medical History