Here are the underlying medical conditions that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says may increase the risk of serious COVID-19 for individuals of any age.
The list was included in a series of aggressive new steps the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommends as part of a 30-day plan to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus in the United States.
• Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners)
• Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor. Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because kidney disease, or is under treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis
• Chronic liver disease as defined by your doctor. (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis) Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because liver disease or is under treatment for liver disease.
• Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV or AIDS)
• Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks
• Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus)
• Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
• Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
• Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen
• Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury.
Older adults are one of the groups most at risk for developing complications from the coronavirus. People over age 50 are most susceptible to respiratory illnesses and related complications. And “Starting at age 60, there is an increasing risk of disease, and the risk increases with age,” adds Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
The highest risk of serious illness or death is in people older than 80 years old.
One of the most pertinent suggestions: stay away from others, especially if they’re not feeling well, the CDC said. “When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.”
The agency also warned older adults to “take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others” and “avoid crowds as much as possible.”