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The CDC Just Made a Major Change About Who is at Risk for COVID-19

And it has to do with your age.
Woman coughing.

For months, you've been hearing that people 65 and older are more at risk for COVID-19. But today, the CDC changed their language regarding who was most susceptible. The "CDC has removed the specific age threshold from the older adult classification. CDC now warns that the risk increases steadily as you age, and it's not just those over the age of 65 who are at increased risk for severe illness," reports the agency. "Recent data, including an MMWR published last week, has shown that the older people are, the higher their risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Age is an independent risk factor for severe illness, but risk in older adults is also in part related to the increased likelihood that older adults also have underlying medical conditions."

"Understanding who is most at risk for severe illness helps people make the best decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities," said CDC Director Robert Redfield MD. "While we are all at risk for COVID-19, we need to be aware of who is susceptible to severe complications so that we take appropriate measures to protect their health and well-being."

Older Adults Also Remain at Risk

In the CDC's words: "Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions remain at increased risk for severe illness, but now CDC has further defined age- and condition-related risks. As more information becomes available, it is clear that a substantial number of Americans are at increased risk of severe illness—highlighting the importance of continuing to follow preventive measures."

But with cases spreading in young people—caused by outbreaks at bars, beaches, frat parties and restaurants—all demographics need to be careful.

The CDC Also Updated Medical Conditions

"CDC also updated the list of underlying medical conditions that increase risk of severe illness after reviewing published reports, pre-print studies, and various other data sources. CDC experts then determined if there was clear, mixed, or limited evidence that the condition increased a person's risk for severe illness, regardless of age.

There was consistent evidence (from multiple small studies or a strong association from a large study) that specific conditions increase a person's risk of severe COVID-19 illness:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Obesity (BMI of 30 or higher)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes"

As for yourself, to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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