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What should people with chronic diseases know about COVID-19?
Anyone can get sick from COVID-19, but people who are older than 65 and people who have a serious chronic disease are the most likely to become very ill or die.
Pregnant people are at a higher risk for severe sickness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. If exposed to COVID-19, there might be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth.
What You Can Do
Don't skip your prenatal care appointments.
Keep at least a 30-day supply of prescription and non-prescription medicines to reduce trips to the pharmacy.
Talk to your healthcare provider about how to stay healthy and take care of yourself during the pandemic.
Limit in-person interactions with people who are outside of your household.
Wear a mask and avoid others who are not wearing masks or wearing them properly.
Avoid poorly ventilated spaces.
Consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to you.
Call your provider or care team immediately if you have concerns about your condition, treatment, think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have any new signs or symptoms of illness.
What can people with chronic diseases and their families do to protect themselves from COVID-19?
Making healthier choices every day can help people prevent and improve their chronic disease as well as their overall well-being. A few ways to protect yourself against COVID-19 includes wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, quitting tobacco use, getting more physical activity, staying hydrated and eating healthier meals and snacks.
According to the CDC, Black Americans are 2.8 times more likely to die from COVID-19. Early studies identify underlying chronic disease as a major factor for the increased. COVID-19 death rate among Black individuals. Early studies identify underlying chronic disease as a major factor for the increased. COVID-19 death rate among Black individuals.Read More About Black Americans & COVID-19
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a kind of illness caused by a virus. People can carry and spread the virus without feeling sick. Common symptoms include fever, coughing, breathing trouble, sore throat, muscle pain, and loss of taste or smell. Most people develop only mild symptoms, but older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19.
Follow the Recommendations
Managing Your Chronic Disease to Prevent COVID-19
I have Asthma
Both asthma and COVID-19 can harm your lungs. If you have asthma and get ill with COVID-19, it could lead to life-threatening lung conditions.
I have Heart Disease
COVID-19 can strain all of the systems in the body, putting additional stress on your heart. COVID-19 can make it more likely that your heart won’t be able to keep up with the needs of your body.
I have Diabetes
When people with diabetes do not manage their blood sugar levels well, they can have more trouble fighting off illnesses, like COVID-19. Because of this, people with poorly controlled diabetes are more likely to become very ill or die if they get COVID-19.
I have Cancer
Some types of cancer and cancer treatments can weaken your immune system and can make you more likely to get very ill from COVID-19.
If you're managing your chronic disease during the pandemic, be sure to:
Take regular medications on time and as directed. Reach out to your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining an extra supply of medications, in case you cannot get to the pharmacy or clinic.
Keep measuring your blood pressure if you have hypertension or take your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
Use the Telemedicine/ Telehealth option for regular medical visits. Your healthcare provider can tell you if they offer this option.
Everyone should follow the CDC’s recommendations to prevent COVID-19:
Avoid crowded places and stay at home.
When you’re outside your home, stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
Wear a mask in public places.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have soap and water, use hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your cough or sneeze with the inside of your elbow.
Clean objects and surfaces in your home that people touch a lot, such as door knobs, counter tops, elevator buttons, and key pads.
If you or a family member starts to get a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, it may be because of COVID-19. Here is what you should do next:
Take steps to protect your family members from getting sick. Read the CDC fact sheet on how to keep your family safe.
Call your healthcare provider and follow their advice on what to do next. Do not go to the Emergency Room unless your provider tells you to do so.
If you have a job or go to school, let them know that you are sick. You should not go in if you’re feeling ill.