Who’s at Higher Risk of Developing Serious Illness from COVID-19?

Who’s at Higher Risk of Developing Serious Illness from COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a risk for everyone, however, the severity of the illness in those who contract it varies from person to person. Some people have mild cases while others experience serious illness or even death. It’s important to know what your risk is so that you feel motivated to take the necessary steps to protect yourself. So, who’s most at risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19? Let’s find out. 

Those who are older 

Older adults are much more likely to experience serious illness from COVID-19. In fact, more than 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over the age of 65, and more than 95 percent occur in people over 45. Older people are more at risk because the immune system weakens with age, making it more difficult to fight off infections. Plus, older people tend to have more long-term health problems that can put them at risk. 

Those with underlying health conditions 

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that nearly two-thirds of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. were attributed to four health conditions: obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and heart failure. In other words, these hospitalizations might not have occurred if these underlying health conditions had not been present. 

Those four conditions, however, aren’t the only ones that increase a person’s risk. Some other conditions that are known to increase a person’s risk include: 

  1. Chronic lung diseases, including COPD, asthma, interstitial lung disease, and cystic fibrosis. 
  2. Cancer
  3. Chronic kidney disease 
  4. Dementia or other neurological conditions 
  5. Down Syndrome
  6. HIV infection 
  7. Liver disease 
  8. Sickle cell disease 
  9. Weakened immune system due to a condition, treatment, or organ transplant 

Those who are pregnant 

Pregnant women and women who have recently given birth are another group of people that are more likely to develop serious illness from COVID-19. This is because pregnant women experience changes to their immune systems that can make them more vulnerable to respiratory viruses. Pregnant women are also more likely to give birth early, leading to potential complications with their babies. 

Those who currently or used to smoke 

Being a current or former cigarette smoker can increase your chances of getting severely ill from COVID-19. Smokers’ lungs are already damaged due to smoking. As such, when they’re exposed to infections that affect their airways, they can become much sicker than nonsmokers. 

How to protect yourself 

Whether or not you fall under one of the high-risk categories mentioned above, everyone needs to take steps to protect themselves and others from catching and spreading COVID-19. These steps include: 

  1. Getting vaccinated. If you’re looking for a COVID-19 vaccine provider in Hillsborough, NC, we welcome you at IndyCare.
  1. Getting tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms. If you’re looking for a COVID-19 testing center in Hillsborough, NC, feel free to visit us at IndyCare. 
  2. Do not ignore concerning symptoms. Don’t delay getting care. You can receive urgent care at IndyCare by scheduling an appointment or walking in.  
  3. Social distancing
  4. Wearing a face mask 
  5. Frequent, thorough hand washing 
  6. Avoiding crowds 

Are you looking for COVID-19 care in Hillsborough? Take advantage of IndyCare’s online portal to book an appointment online and receive curbside care for vaccinations and COVID-19 testing.