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Coronavirus: Who Are At A Higher Risk Of Getting Infected

According to the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, till date, coronavirus aka COVID-19 has claimed more than 17,159 deaths, infected 392,780 and 102,972 recovered. This global pandemic is sky-rocketing with each passing day affecting millions of people around the world.

Most individuals infected with coronavirus will experience mild to moderate symptoms and with proper treatment, it might go away within a few days. Watch out for symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath that may appear within 2-14 days after exposure.

Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer are more susceptible to develop this illness.

Read on to know who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

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1. Older adults

Older adults who are 65 years and above are at a higher risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, in the U.S. an estimate of 31-70 per cent of older adults above 85 years old and 31-59 per cent of adults between 65-84 years old were hospitalised due to COVID-19. And an estimate of 10-27 per cent of adults above 85 years old and 4-11 per cent of adults between 65-84 years old died due to coronavirus.

Here's what older people can do to protect themselves:

  • Have a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Exercise daily
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
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2. People with HIV

Currently, the risk of COVID-19 for people with HIV is not known. However, people with HIV can get sick if they have a low CD4 cell count and if they are not on HIV treatment. Also, they can get sick with coronavirus based on their age and other underlying medical conditions.

Here's what people with HIV can do to protect themselves:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Lower stress
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep
  • Take your HIV medications on time

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3. Pregnant women

During pregnancy, pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of contracting COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza.

Here's how pregnant women can protect themselves:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser

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4. People with asthma

Asthmatic patients may be at an increased risk of coronavirus because the virus attacks your respiratory tract (lungs, nose and throat), which causes an asthma attack and this leads to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease.

Here's how asthmatic patients can protect themselves:

  • Take your asthma medications as prescribed by the doctor
  • Avoid things that trigger your asthma
  • Use an inhaler when you have difficulty in breathing
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • Stay at home to reduce your risk of being exposed to the virus.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched such as doorknobs, tables, handles, desks, phones, toilets, keyboards and countertops to protect yourself against COVID-19.

To Conclude...

Currently, there is no specific treatment or vaccine to prevent coronavirus. All you can do is to follow precautionary measures to prevent the risk of getting infected by this virus.

Story first published: Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 20:00 [IST]
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