Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, infectious disease experts have warned about a higher risk of having a severe form of the infection in some of the people. Older age and lowered immunity due to chronic diseases are also some of the factors that raise the chances of contracting the virus as well as developing complications associated with it.
For instance, people with obesity or with metabolic disorders such as diabetes are more likely to have severe coronavirus infection. In addition, doctors and experts have also noted that the infection can be severe if the existent medical conditions are well-managed and the person is overall healthy.
Why does the coronavirus infection cause more issues in people with other health problems and weaker immunity? According to present research, this is because the SARS-CoV-2 does not only affect the lungs but also various other organs in the body.
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Previously, the majority assumed the impact of the virus was confined to the lungs as it was referred to as a lung or a respiratory illness. However, with later evidence and reports of new cases from hospitals around the world, the researchers discovered that the infection has an impact on the overall health not only for a specific period of two weeks but in the long-term as well.
Some of the healthiest people who also recovered from the coronavirus infection were also diagnosed with other health complications weeks and months later, including athletes. The American Heart Association has also noted that the disease can have a long-term impact on heart health and may elevate the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular events including heart attack and stroke.
While both healthy and those with underlying chronic diseases can develop and die from coronavirus infection or its related consequences on health, researchers have noted that the latter have higher chances in comparison.
Since people with underlying health issues are more likely to have the infection as well as higher mortality rates and negative health outcomes, it is a big concern, especially for the United States, which currently has the highest number of cases as well as the death toll.
This is because several reports have shown that most adults in the US have existent health issues. For example, the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly six out of ten adults in the US have an underlying issue which can potentially increase the risk of having chronic coronavirus infection.
In addition, four out of ten people also have more than one condition at a time which also makes them prone to several health complications associated with SARS-CoV-2.
Since the vast majority is at high risk of a severe form of infection, the CDC advises people with chronic diseases to manage and care for their conditions more carefully than before as well as taking extra steps for precautions.
Given the worsening conditions of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, health care experts further advise people to follow guidelines for prevention even if businesses and offices reopen as they do not mean that the risk of the infection is now low.