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Who is at the Greatest Risk from the Coronavirus?

The CDC has updated its list of who is at the greatest risk for severe illness from the coronavirus causing COVID-19. So far, the CDC has identified that the risk for severe illness increases with age. People in their 50s are at higher risk than those in their 40s, and the risk goes up substantially with each decade. They note that 8 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths in the US have been in adults age 65 years and older. In addition, the CDC identifies underlying medical or health conditions that increase risk of severe illness and hospitalization for any age. Specially mentioned are cancer, obesity (BMI of 30 or higher), Type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, COPD, serious heart conditions, those who are immunocompromised from organ transplant, those with sickle cell disease, smoking, and those who are pregnant (or were recently pregnant).

CDC also identifies Risk for COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death By Race/Ethnicity. 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 more is learned about COVID-19 disease, caused by the coronavirus, the CDC updates its guidance. The list was updated April 2021.

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