Everyone exposed to the virus is at risk of contracting the infection. But some people are more susceptible to it. Still, others are those who are at higher risk of developing severe conditions and being hospitalized when affected.
As experts have collected more COVID-19 data, CDC has updated the list of people who are at higher risk of developing severe illness if infected.
These new additional conditions include diabetes type 2 and pregnancy. The age range has also been renewed. The guidelines are suggesting that aging people are at higher risk of getting severe disease.
CDC has recommended people with any of the above-mentioned conditions to take proper care to avoid horrible outcomes.
The guidelines don’t suggest that people with these conditions are more vulnerable to the virus, in fact, it tells that if infected, they are at greater risk to end up in ICUs.
Practicing safe habits is the only way to avoid the disease. Using masks, sanitizers, keeping distance, and isolation are the safety precaution measures.
CDC has directed following suggestions:
- Keep distance from people
- Avoid social gatherings
- When interacting with people, take preventive measures
For better understanding, we should take a closer look at the newly added conditions.
When pregnant, a woman is going through a lot of hormonal changes. It has been known for decades that in a few pregnant women, the body responds differently when exposed to severe viruses.
Pregnant women are at about 5.5 times greater risk of contracting complicated symptoms. The risk is particularly higher after the third trimester, which is, 28th week of pregnancy. If incurred, they are at higher risk to develop complex symptoms of the disease.
CDC has urged the women:
- To avoid direct contact with people other than family.
- Secondly, Cover face with a cloth or face mask and ask others to do the same.
- Thirdly, when outside, keep your masks, hand sanitizers (with approx. 60 percent alcohol), and tissues at hand.
Regular exercise, a healthy balanced diet, intake of folic acid, and vitamin D supplements are highly recommended. Women should make sure to have their medicine supply for one month.
CDC has advised the women to receive their regular vaccines like influenza and Tdap to maintain proper health.
It further urges women to never miss the regular appointments with the doctor. Some examinations are possible virtually using the telephone or video calls but for others, you must need to see the doctor. Immediately consult your doctor if you feel any indications or have an abnormality or call 911 in case of any emergency.
It should be clear that the CDC has not declared that people with type 2 diabetes are at a greater danger of contracting the virus. Instead, they say that type 2 diabetes patients are at a larger risk of developing severe and complicated symptoms when infected.
Diabetics are recommended to implement preventive measures properly and avoid going out to public places.
An expert for diabetes care said that the lesson we are getting from this is that healthier you are, easier it is to fight the disease. He says, “focus in earnest more than ever on your health. Across the board, the best outcomes come from this.”
Again, staying at home, using face masks, keeping distance from people and washing hands are the keys to prevent the disease.
Diabetic patients should also keep their medication and insulin (if required) for 30 days in stock. When injecting insulin, wash your hands and clean the site by rubbing alcohol or using soap.
High blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system. So, maintaining normal blood sugar levels especially during the pandemic is important.
However, the best way to avoid catching the disease is to stay at home.
CDC in their updated guidelines has now removed the age limit of 65 and above for the people who are at greater risk of developing more critical symptoms.
CDC has updated that it is not that a person above 65 is at higher risk, instead, the illness is severe in people who are aging.
This implies that the people in their 50’s are more likely to develop complicated symptoms than people in their 40’s. Similarly, people in 60 are at lesser risk than those in their 70’s and 80’s. The greatest risk is for people above 85.
Most old people also have chronic medical conditions which make them further susceptible to complicated illness.
Dr. Ronald Caplan, an obstetrician-gynecologist, said that as 60% of Americans have underlying medical conditions, 40% are obese and many are aging. It becomes clear how it is challenging for an aging person to fight Coronavirus.
They are now advised to see their medical specialists more often. Moreover, the experts say that the more you know about the disease, the safer you can keep yourself. Older people should also be regularly vaccinated for influenza etc.
Self-isolating is highly recommended for them but with support, for example, a few friends and family members should go visit them regularly. This will prevent anxiety attacks and emotional disturbances in older adults.
Experts expect more changes in the list with time. Everyone is responsible for taking care of the risk factors; eat healthy, and exercise regularly.
Dr. Mary Dale, a pediatric anesthesiologist who is board certified in anesthesia and critical care, told that physical activity is the treatment that health experts use in the hospital on COVID-19 patients. “Double down on your healthy habits. It will only help,” she added.