CDC Expands Guidelines on Americans At Risk Of Severe COVID-19

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention widened its warnings regarding individuals who are at risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19, claiming that younger people who are obese or live with other health conditions can become seriously ill if contracted.

The agency hopes to influence the behaviors ahead of the July 4 weekend. At first, it was the 65 and older group who faced a higher risk, but the new advice now frames risks around a younger age range and those with a body mass index of 30 and over. Previously the BMI was set for 40 or over.

Also included are pregnant women. After a U.S. study conducted on 8,000 pregnant women, who were diagnosed with the virus, found that pregnant women were at risk of being hospitalized and coming down with severe cases of COVID-19, the CDC placed the group in their broadened list. However, the risk of death for the group did not increase.

Thursday’s novel guidance issued by the CDC does not cite African Americans or other people of color as being at an elevated risk from COVID-19, despite previous reports that showed them at a disproportionate rate of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

“As we move forward and each of us weigh our risk for infection and make decisions about going about our lives, it’s important for all of us to try the best we can to continue to take steps we know are effective to prevent Covid-19,” CDC Director Robert Redfield told reporters during a press conference.

The news is not surprising since many states disregarded warnings and started to reopen, despite the spike in cases of young people with underlying conditions, especially in the West and South. According to Stat News, hospitals are swelling with new diagnoses, and state governments are once again struggling to respond. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has chosen to act quickly by halting the state’s plan to resume in fear of recent outbreaks across the state.

Cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, obesity, any immuno-suppressing condition, sickle cell disease, a history of an organ transplant, and type 2 diabetes are all linked to string evidence of increasing the risk of COVID-19.

The CDC’s new guidance lists medical conditions that influence the disease’s severity while also citing evidence that isn’t so strongly proven but has potential to heighten the risk of a more severe case of COVID-19. Among those are chronic lung diseases, including moderate to severe asthma and cystic fibrosis, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, neurologic conditions, including dementia or history of stroke, liver disease, and pregnancy.

Stay updated and safe!

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