No one expected the coronavirus to pose a huge risk to countries all over the world. Not one country was fully prepared for the dangers it brings to people’s health and ways of living. Significant adjustments are being made so that everyone can still go about their lives despite the pandemic. People developed new routines, businesses came up with new strategies, and cities upgraded their safety protocols. Through this, everyone is making an effort to adapt to the new normal and stay safe.
However, some people are more vulnerable to catching COVID-19. They need to be extra careful even when staying in their own homes to keep themselves safe. Several factors can affect your susceptibility to the virus. So who are the ones at higher risk of getting infected by it?
Anyone can catch the coronavirus, but the elderly is one of the most vulnerable to getting infected by it. This is because older people have weaker immune systems to fight off infections. In fact, the greatest number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are from people age 65 and older.
Furthermore, those who are older have the highest risk of developing serious symptoms. Those symptoms can even lead to other health issues, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome. They can also experience more intense inflammation that can cause organ damage. With this, they might require the right senior care services.
Because of the increased risk, the elderly must be extra careful in keeping themselves safe from catching the virus even when they’re not leaving their residence. They must be cautious in accepting visitors at home or in facilities since they cannot be sure if their visitors are not carrying the virus.
People with Underlying Health Conditions
Having a chronic or long-term illness increases someone’s risk of getting infected by the coronavirus, too. Also, since the virus targets the lungs, people with existing lung problems like asthma, pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, and lung cancer are more likely to develop severe symptoms. Many types of heart disease, certain blood disorders, diabetes, and obesity can cause severe COVID-19 symptoms, too.
The risk of dying from the virus is also increased by comorbidities. And some treatments that people undergo, such as cancer treatments and organ transplants, can weaken their immune system. The fatality rate in patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, hypertension, and cancer is much higher than those with no other health conditions. The deaths are usually resulted from the worsening of existing diseases and not by the coronavirus itself.
With the greater possibility of getting infected by COVID-19, people with underlying health conditions should take extra precautions and be more careful in managing their health. Visits to their doctor when necessary should not be skipped to monitor their condition. They can also have regular consultations through the phone to avoid the need to go out of their homes.
Changes in the body during pregnancy can make it easier for people to get infected by respiratory viruses. It suppresses the immune system to protect the fetus since it is considered a foreign body. This makes pregnant people more susceptible to the coronavirus. However, immuno-suppression can prevent an extreme immune response that tears through lung tissue.
When infected, pregnant people may experience poor pregnancy outcomes, such as delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks or pregnancy loss. There’s even a case wherein a COVID-19 patient gave birth to a baby who later tested positive for the virus. The case raised fears of vertical transmission, but studies show that newborns may only get infected through proximity to a patient.
Due to vulnerability to respiratory pathogens, pregnant people are advised to consult their health care provider about the precautions they should take during appointments. Virtual visits are a good option, too, unless they have certain high-risk conditions.
The best way to protect one’s self from the coronavirus is by getting vaccinated. But they should keep in mind that it is essential to inform their doctor first of any health conditions. It is crucial for their doctors to know if they have any history of severe allergies or a compromised immune system.
Also, as much as people limit their in-person interactions, they should sanitize their hands often and avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth, especially when outdoors. Covering coughs and sneezes will also reduce the possibility of transmissions. This is why wearing masks and social distancing are important. They should regularly disinfect surfaces they frequently touch, too.
These safety measures should be followed by everyone, not only those who are at higher risk of getting infected by COVID-19. Remember that with everyone’s efforts, we can prevent the virus from spreading further and infecting others.