Since Covid19 is a new disease, there is limited information available concerning its risk factors. However, based on the current observations, it was concluded that older people and people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of contracting the disease.
Unfortunately, the list doesn’t end here. As we are learning new facts about Covid19 with every passing day, it is established that there are many other groups who are at higher risk of developing the illness caused due to coronavirus. If you don’t know much about coronavirus and its risk factors, here are a few things you must know…
Which groups are at higher risk of contracting coronavirus?
Older people especially living in nursing homes
Anyone can get infected with coronavirus, even children. However, the virus affects middle aged and older people a lot severely. In fact, individuals who are above 65 years old are at a risk of developing serious symptoms. Also, the death rate is higher in individuals above 80 years. In addition, if they have underlying health conditions they are at higher risk.
Those who are living in nursing homes are mostly at risk because they already have multiple underlying health issues. Besides, the virus will spread easily and quickly between people living in close proximity. Nevertheless, the spread can be slowed down if they follow preventative measures like purchase respiratory masks, frequently wash hands, practice social distancing, etc.
People with declining immune system
It is very obvious that individuals with strong immune system will be able to fight back Covid19 better. However, there are many such health conditions which can weaken the immune system, and thereby increase your chances to contract the virus. Some of these conditions are:
- Smoking and drinking frequently
- Extended use of drugs like prednisone
- Bone marrow or organ transplant
- Cancer treatments
Individuals with conditions like heart diseases, diabetes and obesity
Diabetes and obesity are known to reduce the efficiency of one’s immune system. Besides, diabetes in general is known to increase risks of infections. All in all, individuals under this group are likely to develop serious symptoms once they get infected with coronavirus.
Furthermore, since Covid19 is a new disease, researchers are considering older diseases caused by coronaviruses, like SARS and MERS. Both of these conditions were linked to heart attack and failure, so it is easy to assume that the same can be true for Covid19 as well.
Individuals with preexisting lung problems
Covid19 is primarily known to target lungs. This means, you are more likely to contract the virus and develop serious symptoms if you are suffering from lung problems like:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Cystic fibrosis
- Lung cancer
Now, some medicines for the above mentioned conditions can weaken the immune system. However, that doesn’t mean you quit taking your maintenance meds. In fact, it is advised that you constantly keep in touch with your doctor, and even keep medications and supplies like asthma inhalers handy.
Lastly, it is important to understand that since we don’t have a cure or vaccine for Covid19, our best bet is to follow all the precautionary measures. So, make sure you are doing everything to avoid the disease.