Underlying Health Conditions

Who is most at risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19?

Older adults and people of any age who have underlying medical conditions like asthma, heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and obesity or who are immunocompromised may be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. However, individuals of any age and without underlying health conditions may be susceptible to severe disease.

For more information about underlying medical conditions, visit:  CDC: People with Certain Medical Conditions.

Is it true that most people who have severe illness from COVID-19 were already really sick from their underlying health conditions?

Individuals with underlying health conditions may be managing their conditions and leading normal, productive lives, but may still be more severely impacted by COVID-19. This includes someone who may be managing their asthma symptoms using medication or an inhaler or someone who manages their high blood pressure with medication could be more severely impacted.

How do we protect people who are at higher risk for developing severe disease from COVID-19?

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to COVID-19. The virus is thought to be spread mainly from person to person, between people that are in close contact (within 6 feet). Tiny respiratory droplets are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings or talks and can land in the mouth, nose or eyes of people who are nearby. Some people may have the virus and not have any symptoms. Wearing a cloth face covering can help to prevent these respiratory droplets from traveling from an infected individual to someone else.