What’s an Underlying Condition?

What’s an Underlying Condition?

  • Posted On:Mar 16, 2020
  • Written By:Baton Rouge General

As COVID-19 continues to spread, you will probably see references to “underlying conditions” as a risk factor for more severe complications. But what does that mean?

Because COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, patients with chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of developing a severe lower respiratory infection with low oxygen levels and pneumonia. This group of patients may require hospitalization. Chronic medical conditions – what many may call “underlying conditions” — including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and kidney disease. Elderly patients are also at a higher risk of severe illness.

Of course, there is a smaller number of otherwise healthy individuals who can develop a severe infection, too. It’s important to note that most patients who are infected will recuperate at home and not require additional medical attention.

Whether or not you have a chronic medical condition that makes you more vulnerable to the virus, it’s important for everyone to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Social distancing can slow the rate of spread of this illness and protect our community from a severe outbreak. This means trying to maintain a distance of 6 feet when in public and avoiding crowded situations.

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