Bottom line: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all in this together. None of us are immune. What’s worse: The virus is more dangerous, even fatal, to people with certain medical conditions. Do you feel truly confident that you’re doing enough to protect your friends, family and loved ones? Are you sure? The people around you may be far more likely to get sick and suffer serious outcomes from COVID than you realize. These are the people who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, according to the CDC. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
People who are obese (defined as a body mass index, or BMI, over 30) or have severe obesity (a BMI over 40) are at higher risk for COVID. Take your prescriptions as prescribed, follow diet and exercise guidelines as directed (while maintaining social distancing precautions) and tell your healthcare provider ASAP if you feel ill.
Having chronic kidney disease at any stage increases your risk of severe COVID, the CDC says. If you have CKD, the agency recommends continuing your medicine and diet as recommended by your healthcare provider, and if you’re on dialysis, maintaining your treatments.
People with cancer should “have a conversation with your healthcare provider or care team to discuss your individual level of risk based on your condition, your treatment, and the level of transmission in your community,” the CDC advises. Have a 30-day supply of your medicines, and don’t stop or change your medication regimen without talking with your healthcare provider.
Having coronary artery disease, heart failure, a cardiomyopathy, or pulmonary hypertension increases your risk of severe COVID, the CDC says. The agency’s advice: Take your medications as prescribed, keep a 30-day supply of your medications, and consult your healthcare provider if you have questions or feel sick.
If you’ve had a solid organ transplant, a blood or bone marrow transplant; have immune deficiencies; have HIV with a low CD4 cell count or are not on HIV treatment; or have long used corticosteroids or other immune-weakening medicines, you might be at risk for severe COVID. Continue your medications; don’t stop without consulting your healthcare provider; and call your healthcare provider if you have concerns or feel sick.
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.