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CDC Says These Groups Now At "Severe Risk" of COVID

Better understand your “underlying medical condition and its impact and potential impact on COVID-19 severity.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
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The CDC makes infrequent updates regarding COVID-19, so it's important when they do. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced new changes yesterday at the White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing. "CDC is making important updates to the list of underlying medical conditions that can increase risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes," she said. "After a thorough review of the evidence, we have simplified the list of underlying conditions for consumers" so you can "understand the important information related to their underlying medical conditions and its impact and potential impact on COVID-19 severity." They also added a new underlying condition. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.

1

Cancer

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"Having cancer can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC. "Treatments for many types of cancer can weaken your body's ability to fight off disease.  At this time, based on available studies, having a history of cancer may increase your risk."

2

Chronic Kidney Disease

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"Having chronic kidney disease of any stage can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19."

3

Chronic Lung Diseases

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…including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension," says the CDC. "Chronic lung diseases can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. These diseases may include:

  • Asthma, if it's moderate to severe
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Having damaged or scarred lung tissue such as interstitial lung disease (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
  • Cystic fibrosis, with or without lung or other solid organ transplant
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)"

4

Dementia or Other Neurological Conditions

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"Having neurological conditions, such as dementia, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC.

5

Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2)

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"Having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC.

6

Down Syndrome

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"Having Down syndrome can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC.

7

Heart Conditions

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…such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension," says the CDC. "Having heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19."

8

HIV Infection

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"Having HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC.

8

Immunocompromised State (Weakened Immune System)

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"Having a weakened immune system can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC. "Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. Primary immunodeficiency is caused by genetic defects that can be inherited. Prolonged use of corticosteroids or other immune weakening medicines can lead to secondary or acquired immunodeficiency."

9

Liver Disease

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"Having chronic liver disease, such as alcohol-related liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and especially cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC.

10

Overweight and Obesity

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"Overweight (defined as a body mass index (BMI) > 25 kg/m2 but < 30 kg/m2), obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2 but < 40 kg/m2), or severe obesity (BMI of ≥40 kg/m2), can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.  The risk of severe COVID-19 illness increases sharply with elevated BMI," says the CDC.

11

Pregnancy

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"Pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people," says the CDC.

12

Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia

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"Having hemoglobin blood disorders like sickle cell disease (SCD) or thalassemia can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC.

13

Smoking, Current or Former

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"Being a current or former cigarette smoker can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don't start again. If you've never smoked, don't start," says the CDC.

14

Solid Organ or Blood Stem Cell Transplant

"Having had a solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, which includes bone marrow transplants, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC.

15

Stroke or Cerebrovascular Disease, Which Affects Blood Flow to the Brain

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"Having cerebrovascular disease, such as having a stroke, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC.

16

Substance Use Disorders

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"Having a substance use disorder (such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19," says the CDC.

17

How to Stay Safe

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So follow public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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