Many people who are suffering from a more severe form of COVID-19 are doing so because of certain underlying health conditions and risk factors that are making them more vulnerable to the virus. Read on to know more about these risk factors for coronavirus and what you can do about them:
The risk factors for coronavirus include chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma that can increase your chances of being severely ill. Asthma is a disease of inflammation of the lung airways; having asthma does not necessarily increase your chances of getting COVID-19, but it just means that coronavirus can put undue stress on the body, and make asthma worse. Additionally, it can also make people more prone to life-threatening asthma attacks. As a result, people with asthma who get coronavirus are likely to become more severely ill.
According to the head of Health Advice at Asthma UK, Jessica Kirby, people who suffer from lung conditions are more likely to get complications and need hospitalization. Healthcare providers advise asthma patients to take their preventer inhalers daily as prescribed and not skip a dose.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that decreases the immunity of the body. It makes it difficult for the body to fight viral and bacterial infections, and coronavirus is no exception. Not only are diabetics at increased risk of coronavirus, but also the complications associated with this virus. In a Chinese study, involving 191 patients, it was found that 48 percent of people had an underlying disorder, and of these 19 percent had diabetes.
For diabetics, good glycemic control is necessary for the pandemic to decrease their risk of disease. Make a chart of your daily blood sugar levels, and see how well your glucose control is. If you are having trouble controlling your BSL, then get an appointment with your healthcare provider, and discuss with them how you can take care of yourself to decrease your risk factors for coronavirus.
Those with poor cardiovascular health are at higher risk for coronavirus, and the related complications. The risk is likely increased because of the muted immune response in someone suffering from a poor cardiovascular function. A diseased heart can struggle to supply oxygen to the rest of the body, and with a respiratory infection, this task can become even more difficult.
According to William Li, MD, COVID-19 and the associated fever puts added stress on an already weakened heart. Additionally, the American College of Cardiology, issued a statement warning the patients about increased risk factors for coronavirus in cardiovascular diseases, and urged people to take precautions against the disease, and get their vaccinations up-to-date.
The immune system of the body is responsible for fighting pesky bugs—including viruses and bacteria. People with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, and organ transplant have a poor immune system, and they are highly susceptible to viral illnesses like COVID-19.
Viral illnesses like COVID-19 are likely to be more serious and progress at a rapid rate in someone with a poor immune system, such as a cancer patient, or patients taking immune suppressants.
To mitigate their risk of disease, such people should practice good hygiene techniques, and practice social distancing. In case someone with a compromised immune system develops signs of coronavirus, they should immediately notify their primary healthcare provider and seek help.
While old age itself is not an underlying medical condition, many people who are over a certain age are more prone to infection. The reason for this is that the elderly often have a less robust immune system, therefore, they are more prone to viral illnesses.
Moreover, many elderly patients have other underlying health conditions often multiple conditions at a time, which makes it difficult for their body to take the added stress of a viral infection. Hence, older individuals are seeing more complications as a result of COVID-19, and most of the hospitalized patients are older individuals.
What to do if you have the risk factors for coronavirus?
The information about COVID-19 is changing day by day. However, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises those who are at increased risk for COVID-19 to take the following measures:
Firstly, everyone who has an underlying health disorder, should continue their medication, and not change their treatment plan without consultation with their doctor. Furthermore, such patients should have at least a two-week supply of their prescription on hand so that they don’t miss a dose due to lockdowns, and compromise their health.
Additionally, people over the age of 65 who are at higher risk of contracting respiratory infections, should talk to their healthcare provider about vaccinations, especially for influenza and pneumococcal disease.
Lastly, if there are new-onset symptoms that seem suspicious to you, then do not delay in getting medical care. Talk to your healthcare provider for further guidance about going to the hospital, or getting remote advice if possible.
Book an appointment with top general-physician in Lahore, Multan, and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.