Who is at high risk for severe COVID?

Coronavirus

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(WETM) – On Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for seniors and others at high risk of COVID-19.

The approval of booster doses now has people asking who is at high risk for severe COVID?

According to the Mayo Clinic, “health conditions, such as heart or lung disease, can increase your risk of developing dangerous symptoms” if the patient contracts COVID-19.

Those who are 85 and older are at the highest risk of serious symptoms, and in the U.S., about 80% of deaths from the disease have been in people age 65 and older.

The Mayo Clinic describes many of the conditions that could put someone at high risk for severe COVID.

Lung problems, including asthma

COVID-19 targets the lungs, so you’re more likely to develop severe symptoms if you already have lung problems, such as:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Lung cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Moderate to severe asthma

Heart disease

Many types of heart disease can make you more likely to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms. These include:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease

Diabetes and obesity

Type 1 or type 2 diabetes can increase your risk of serious COVID-19 symptoms. Having a higher body mass index that’s considered overweight, obese or severely obese also increases this risk.

Diabetes and obesity

Type 1 or type 2 diabetes can increase your risk of serious COVID-19 symptoms. Having a higher body mass index that’s considered overweight, obese or severely obese also increases this risk.

Weakened immune system

A healthy immune system fights the germs that cause disease. But many conditions and treatments can weaken your immune system, including:

  • Organ transplants
  • Cancer treatments
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Long-term use of prednisone or similar drugs that weaken your immune system

Chronic kidney or liver disease

Chronic kidney or liver disease can weaken your immune system, which may increase your risk of being seriously ill with COVID-19. Also, having serious COVID-19 symptoms and taking medications to treat the disease may have negative effects on the liver.

Down syndrome

People with Down syndrome are more likely to develop lung infections in general, so they are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. They also are at higher risk of already having many of the health problems that have been linked to developing severe COVID-19 symptoms — including heart disease, sleep apnea, obesity and diabetes.

Health officials say those who may be at higher risk should continue to take all medications prescribed to them by their doctor. Anyone with questions as to whether they should be considered “high risk” should consult with their doctors.

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