The symptoms of COVID-19 or the coronavirus disease may vary widely. While some people remain asymptomatic, others fall sick to the extent that they need professional care at hospitals, and some even need mechanical help to allow their lungs to breathe. Older persons and people with other serious chronic health issues (like lung or heart conditions, obesity, diabetes, or a weak immunity) are more at risk of developing dangerous symptoms. Each of these factors affects how severely the SARS Coronavirus affects a patient:
Irrespective of your age, you can get infected with COVID-19, but typically it affects older adults and the middle-aged, and the risk of developing severe symptoms grows as age increases. Those aged eighty-five or above are the most vulnerable and have the highest chance of developing grave symptoms. You must remember to take all prescribed medication timely and develop a care plan that provides detailed information about medical conditions, prescribed medication, and care providers' names and contacts in an emergency.
Since germs spread quickly among people close to each other, it is necessary to follow all guidelines and safety protocols to prevent infection. Residents of nursing homes are at a higher risk as they already have multiple prevailing health conditions in addition to advanced age. Often older people also have a chance of suffering from Alzheimer's disease, making it more challenging to keep in mind the precautions necessary to prevent infection. Such people need special care. According to a recent poll by MyBioSource, around 13% of Georgia's people support Covid measures.
COVID-19 infection targets the lungs; a patient already suffering from chronic lung problems (including obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary embolism, and pulmonary hypertension) is more likely to develop aggravated symptoms. Although some medications prescribed for these conditions may weaken a person's immunity, it is of utmost importance to continue taking the medicines to control the symptoms as much as possible. It is wise to keep an emergency prescribed medication in hand, for example, an asthma inhaler.
Asthma patients must avoid attack triggers like pollen, tobacco, dust mites, cold air, or smoke. Each of these affects individual people differently. Stress, intense emotions, or certain odors might also act as asthma attack triggers in some patients. Smoking and vaping, in addition to being asthma triggers, also harm the lungs and hinder the immune system, further increasing the peril of serious COVID complications.
Heart diseases like cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, or heart failure make COVID-19 cases more complicated. Doctors advise such patients to continue ongoing medication as prescribed. It is critical to reducing high blood pressure, as increased risks are associated with it.
Brain and neurological conditions
Some health conditions like stroke or dementia that affect the nervous system increase the possibility of severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Obesity and diabetes
Both obesity and diabetes hinder the efficacy of the immune system. A high body mass index or obesity increases the risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes also increase this risk. Generally speaking, diabetes increases the risk of most infections. These risks must be minimal by controlling blood sugar levels and continuing prescribed medication and insulin dosages.
Certain blood disorders and cancer
Cancer patients have a high risk of getting severely infected; however, this risk varies depending upon the kind of treatment one is going through and the type of cancer. Other conditions of the blood, including sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, also lead to the severity of infection of COVID-19. These disorders inhibit the efficiency of red blood cells from carrying oxygen around the body.
A weak immune system
A healthy and active immune system efficiently fights disease-causing germs. But some treatments and conditions like organ transplants, bone marrow transplants, cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS, and long-term use of certain drugs weaken the immune system. Those with weakened immune systems must be cautious to avoid catching the COVID-19-causing coronavirus.
Kidney and liver diseases
Chronic kidney or liver diseases also weaken a person's immunity.
Mental health issues
People suffering from depression or schizophrenia spectrum disorders are also very likely to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Since people with Down Syndrome quickly develop lung infections, they are notably more at risk for COVID 19. Also, Down Syndrome patients are more vulnerable to developing health problems linked to COVID-19 severe symptoms, including heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea. Many Down Syndrome adults also reside in nursing homes where exposure to germs is almost inevitable as it is intellectually tricky for these people to follow preventive safety measures.
Steps to take to prevent the risk of getting infected
Everyone must take specific steps to lessen the chance of getting infected and reduce the risk of spreading it to others. First and foremost, wearing a mask and avoiding close contact with any sick person is of utmost importance. A COVID-19 vaccine can decrease the instances of getting and spreading the infection.
Frequent washing of hands, covering nose and mouth when sneezing, avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and routine disinfection of high-touch surfaces are some everyday precautions you can never miss.