Obesity, pregnancy, kidney disease added as complicating factors for COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control added new health conditions that make people more at risk to suffer complications from COVID-19, and it includes obesity and pregnancy.

Researchers with the CDC said anyone with kidney disease, COPD, obesity, compromised immune systems, sickle cell disease, a history of transplants or type 2 diabetes all show high risk for COVID-related illnesses no matter your age.

“I think, again, it highlights the fact that younger people in no way are completely immune to the effects of SARS-CoV-2, nor are they at risk of more severe manifestation,” said Dr. Jay Butler, the CDC deputy director for infectious diseases.

The CDC also listed other factors that increase your risk, including lung diseases like asthma or cystic fibrosis, a weakened immune system, neurological conditions like dementia or history of a stroke, liver disease and pregnancy.

Researchers published a new study Thursday that found pregnant women with COVID-19 are five times more likely to end up in the hospital.

“We do see higher rates of admission to the ICU and mechanical ventilation based on this data set that we have to date,” said Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, the CDC deputy incident manager. “And so, I think it’s very important to get the information out there that pregnant women need to take precautions.”

Across the board, younger people are being infected more, contributing to the spread.

“Certainly older people are more susceptible to COVID-19, but we have definitely had younger people hospitalized at SMH and throughout the state and country at a much higher rate than had been before,” said David Verinder, the president and CEO of Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

The new data gives the public a better picture of the virus four months into the pandemic, with a warning that it isn’t over.

“I think it’s important to recognize, we’re not talking about a second wave right now.  We’re still in the first wave, and that first wave is taking different shapes,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC director.

CDC officials emphasize that everyone is at risk of the virus, but the conditions they’ve named were found to put people at a higher risk for suffering severe effects of the virus.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to covid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

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