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Who is at the Greatest Risk from the Coronavirus?

The CDC has identified who is at the greatest risk for severe illness from the coronavirus causing COVID-19. So far, the CDC has identified people who are 65 or older, and those who have underlying medical or health conditions (any age). Specially mentioned are those living in nursing homes or assisted living; those who have serious heart conditions or are immunocompromised (e.g. due to cancer treatment, smoking, organ transplant, poorly controlled HIV); those with severe obesity (BMI of 40 or higher) or diabetes. The deaths are higher in such groups. Also at higher risk are people with chronic lung diseases, those with moderate to severe asthma; people with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis and people with liver disease. CDC gives recommendations to people in high risk groups in order to keep them as safe as possible. It lists “others at risk” on a separate page: pregnant women, people with disabilities and homeless populations. Other groups that need to take special precautions are healthcare professionals (obviously), and caregivers. It is important to remember that this is a novel (new) virus, that no one on earth had immunity to when it first arrived. Hence, everyone starts out “at risk”. As we learn more about the new COVID-19 disease, caused by the coronavirus, the CDC will update its guidance. Updated April 15, 2020

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