Who's At Risk of Getting Severe COVID-19 Symptoms? Here's All You Need to Know

Who's At Risk of Getting Severe COVID-19 Symptoms? Here's All You Need to Know

Dec 01, 2020

Since the pandemic struck back in December 2019, we have been learning new stuff each day. SARS-CoV2 has kept everyone in the medical and science field racking their brains, trying to unearth the core of this virus.

One of the things that we have noticed as doctors at our Houston emergency room is that people exhibit different symptoms. The people who come in for COVID-19 testing in Houston have had varied symptoms that range from asymptomatic to severe symptoms and need emergency COVID-19 care.

Plus, some people have come for BioFireĀ® testing in Houston, TX (a rapid and accurate COVID-19 diagnostic tool) who were at higher risk of developing severe symptoms than others. One of the steps you can take to prevent yourself from the unnecessary risk of landing you in our 24-hour emergency room is knowing if you are in the high-risk category.

Respiratory Issues

COVID-19 is a disease that affects your lungs. Therefore, if you have any pre-existing lung-related issues, there is a higher chance of getting severe infections. These conditions can be:

  • Lung cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Other lung issues that can elevate your chances of getting severe symptoms may include:

  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

There are medications that are used to manage these conditions that can weaken your immune system. However, keep on taking these drugs so that you can manage the symptoms of these conditions.

If you have asthma, try as much as possible to steer clear of the triggers. The triggers typically differ from person to person. For some, it can be pollen, while others dust or mold. Whichever the case, keep your eyes peeled for the triggers.

If you smoke or vape, you need to avoid such lifestyle issues that can damage your lungs and even inhibit your immune system. This can even put you at a higher risk of getting severe complications.

Weakened Immune System

Your immune system is the natural defense that your body has to fight off infections and germs. This is the first line of defense. Some of the conditions and illnesses that weaken the immune system may include:

  • Cancer treatments
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Organ transplants
  • Using medication that weakens the immune system
  • Bone marrow transplant

If your immune system is weak, put extra effort, and take extra precautions so that you can avoid being infected with the SARS-CoV2.

Older Age

COVID-19 cuts across all ages, from toddlers to older adults. However, it has been noted that the disease affects middle-aged and older adults. The older you are, the higher the chances are that you might develop severe symptoms. In America alone, it is estimated that over 80% of COVID-19 deaths have been in patients who are 65 years or older.

It is even worse when you are in this age bracket and have an underlying health condition. Therefore, you need to be extra careful and develop a care plan if you have an underlying condition. You need to know where you are getting your medications, the doctors’ emergency contacts in the walk-in clinic near you, among others.

Obesity, Heart Disease, and Diabetes

Diabetes and obesity usually reduce the efficiency of your immune system to fight off infections. Typically, diabetes creates a conducive environment for diseases to thrive. So, keep on taking your medication since your best chance of reducing infection risks is by lowering your blood sugar levels.

Any heart disease, including congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, or cardiomyopathy, increase your chances of gettinga severe illness. Also, do not stop taking your medications since this will help give your body a better fighting chance.

Chronic Liver or Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney or liver disease weakens your immune system. Therefore, if you get COVID-19, there are chances that you might get severe symptoms. Thus, do not miss your appointments if you are on dialysis. This will help your body get more robust and offer you a better chance of keeping the symptoms of COVID-19 within manageable margins.

Cancer and Certain Blood Disorders

When you have certain blood disorders like sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, which affect the transportation of oxygen in your body, you are more likely to have severe symptoms.

On the other hand, people with cancer have a weakened immune system, leading to severe symptoms when you get COVID-19. However, do not stop receiving your treatment. Do anything possible to help boost your immune system.

It’s important to note that anyone is at risk of getting COVID-19, so it is best to follow the guidelines that have been put in place. If you need to know your status, it is best to contact our doctor at Ascent ER and come in for BioFire testing.

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