Are you at a higher risk for COVID-19?

GEHA | April 2, 2020

COVID-19
Based on the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this article examines who may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.

Who has a higher risk of either developing COVID-19 or developing a more severe illness from the disease?

Based on the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19 include:

  • People age 65 and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People with other high-risk conditions, including chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma or heart disease
  • People undergoing cancer treatment or those who are immunocompromised
  • People of any age with severe obesity
  • People with underlying medical conditions including diabetes, renal failure or liver disease
  • Women who are pregnant because they are known to be prone to severe viral illness, although the most current data has not shown increased risk
What you can do

If you have a higher risk of developing COVID-19, there are a number of precautions you can take.
  • Stay home
  • Wash your hands often
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Stay current on your prescriptions
  • Avoid crowds, especially cruises or air travel 
There are also a number of things you can do to support yourself if you're feeling anxious or stressed.
  • Make time to unwind
  • Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news
  • Connect with others. Reach out to family and friends with phone calls, emails or videos.
  • Take care of your body by eating healthy, exercising and getting plenty of sleep
  • Call your health care provider if your anxiety or stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days
What to do if you have asthma or other chronic lung problems

COVID-19 can affect your nose, throat or lungs. This can cause an asthma attack and may lead to pneumonia or acute respiratory disease.

First, be sure to follow your asthma action plan. Take your asthma medication exactly as prescribed. Make sure you know how to use your inhaler.

Next, avoid anything that triggers your asthma, including:
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Dust mites
  • Furry pets
  • Mold
  • Smoke from burning wood or grass
  • Breathing in some chemicals, including disinfectants
  • Acid reflux

If you feel sick or need to talk to a licensed behavioral therapist, learn more about around-the-clock online doctor visits.


Sources:

“Are You at Higher Risk for Severe Illness?” cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 March 2020.

“You Can Control Your Asthma.” cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 December, 2010.