COVID-19 known to the world as coronavirus is taking the world by storm. Little is known about this new virus so far, but what we do know is that it can affect everyone, but those with medium to high-risk health conditions are at a higher risk for the severe illness of COVID-19.
From the CDC, those who are classified as medium to high-risk are those who are:
- 65 years of age or older
- Living in a nursing home or a long-term care facility
People of all ages:
- With chronic lung disease or severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immune-compromised
- Many conditions can cause a person to become immune-compromised 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.
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
What should you do if you fall under one of these categories for medium to high-risk patients? There are some steps that you should take to help reduce the risk of not getting sick and to help protect you, your loved ones, and others around you. First, stay at home if you can, wash your hands frequently, keep space between yourself and others (6 feet or 2 arm lengths), keep supplies stocked up if you can, cover your mouth and nose with a face-covering in public, keep away from people who are sick, disinfect surfaces that are frequently used, and avoid nonessential travel.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms, but the most common ones (the ones you should look out for if you start to feel ill) are coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or at least 2 of these following symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. Please be aware that this list is not all-inclusive and please contact your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
If you are experiencing any of these emergency warning signs, please seek medical attention immediately. They are trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face. Please call 911 if you have a medical emergency, and if you think you have COVID, let the operator know and if you can, try to cover your face and mouth when help arrives.
Lots is still unknown about COVID-19, but if we all stick together, we can and will defeat this.