Some people are more likely than others to become severely ill with COVID-19 which can include hospitalization, intensive care admission, and ventilator support. People at increased risk include older adults and those with underlying medical conditions which include heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, sickle cell disease, hypertension, obesity, liver disease, or a weakened immune system. Certain prescription medications can also increase your risk. If you are taking any prescription medications by mouth or injections, discuss whether you are at increased risk with your health care provider.
A weakened immune system can result from an organ or bone marrow transplant, HIV, immune deficiencies, or medications used to treat other illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, psoriasis and others. If you have a weakened immune system or take prescription medications, discuss your risk with your doctor so that a specific plan is in place if you are exposed or become ill with COVID-19. This plan would also include how you can contact the medical office that takes care of your specific medical condition.
If you are unsure if your medical condition or prescription medications increases your risk of serious infection, call your doctor’s office to discuss your risk. Also review what you can do to reduce your risk of exposure. In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting COVID-19.