The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the age and groups most at risk of becoming seriously ill with the coronavirus (Covid-19), including obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions continue to be at increased risk for serious illness, but the CDC has now further defined the risks related to age and condition.
"The risk of becoming seriously ill increases with age, but there is no exact age to worry or not to worry, "CDC Director Robert Redfield said today via conference call. Previously, the organization had established that the greatest risk was in patients 65 years of age or older.
“The reasons we see an increased risk of becoming seriously ill with older people has to do with having other health conditions. We saw the evidence that with underlying conditions there were high, medium and low risks, "he added.
For his part, the director of infectious diseases and response of the Covid-19, Jay C. Butler, added that young people are not immune, although they have a lower risk of getting it and can potentially transmit it to others.
"Young people are not immune to Covid-19 and the risks in young people increase with other conditions including conditions such as diabetes and obesity," Butler said. .
The CDC director further noted that there was consistent evidence — from multiple small studies and one large-scale study — that specific conditions increased a person's risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19.
Among these conditions that fall within the line that "are most at risk" mentioned: chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity (Body Mass Index of 30 or more ), compromised immune system, severe heart conditions, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathy, sickle cell anemia, and type 2 diabetes.
The CDC established that these changes also increase the number of people who fall into these higher-risk groups, since an estimated 60 percent of American adults have at least one chronic medical condition and 40 percent of adults in the United States are obese.
"The more underlying medical conditions people have, the greater their risk, "Butler said.
In addition, physicians added that people with the following conditions may have an" increased risk "of serious Covid-19 disease: asthma (moderate to severe); cerebrovascular disease; cystic fibrosis and hypertension or high blood pressure. Likewise, people with a compromised immune system – from a blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, the use of corticosteroids or the use of other immunodeficient drugs – fall into this same line; neurological conditions, such as dementia, liver disease; pulmonary fibrosis; smoke; thalassemia and type 1 diabetes.
Pregnancy was also listed as a higher risk factor for serious illness from the virus.
"Understanding who is at higher risk for serious illness helps people make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities, "said Redfield, recognizing that the entire population is at risk of becoming infected.
Likewise, the virologist reiterated the importance of social distancing, frequent handwashing, keeping yourself away from others if you're sick and wear a mask when you can't keep the six-foot spacing.