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Greenville | Nursing & Rehabilitation

COVID-19 & People with Certain Medical Conditions

March 2, 2022

If you test positive for COVID-19 and have one or more health conditions that increase your risk of becoming very sick, treatment may be available. Contact a health professional right away after a positive test to determine if you may be eligible, even if your symptoms are mild right now. Don’t delay: Treatment must be started within the first few days to be effective.

What You Need to Know

  • A person with any of the medical conditions listed below is more likely to get very sick with COVID-19.
  • Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines (getting primary series and booster) and following preventive measures for COVID-19 are important. This is especially important if you are older or have severe health conditions or more than one health condition, including those on the list below.
  • Approved and authorized COVID-19 vaccines (primary series and booster) are safe and effective.
  • Some immunocompromised people, or people with weakened immune systems, may be eligible for a COVID-19 additional primary shot.
  • The list below does not include all possible conditions that put you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you have a condition not included on this list, talk to your healthcare professional about how best to manage your condition and protect yourself from COVID-19.

Overview

Based on current evidence, a person with any of the conditions listed below is more likely to get very sick with COVID-19. This means that a person with one or more of these conditions and who gets very sick with COVID-19 more likely to:

  • Be hospitalized
  • Need intensive care
  • Require a ventilator to help them breathe
  • Die

In addition:

Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines (getting primary series and booster) and following preventive measures for COVID-19 are important. This is especially important if you are older or have severe health conditions or more than one health condition, including those on this list. Learn more about how CDC develops COVID-19 vaccination recommendations. If you have a medical condition, learn more about Actions You Can Take.

Medical Conditions

  • The conditions on this list are in alphabetical order. They are not in order of risk.
  • CDC completed a review for each medical condition on this list. This was done to ensure that these conditions met criteria for inclusion on this list. CDC conducts ongoing reviews of additional underlying conditions. If other medical conditions have enough evidence, they might be added to this list.
  • Because we are learning more about COVID-19 every day, this list does not include all medical conditions that place a person at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Rare medical conditions, including many conditions that mostly affect children, may not be included on the list below. We will update the list as we learn more.
  • A person with a condition that is not listed may still be at greater risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 than other people who do not have the condition. It is important that you talk with your healthcare professional about your risk.

Cancer

Having cancer can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Treatments for many types of cancer can weaken your body’s ability to fight off disease. At this time, based on available studies, having a history of cancer may increase your risk.

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Chronic Kidney Disease

Having chronic kidney disease of any stage can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Chronic Liver Disease

Having chronic liver disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic liver disease can include alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, and cirrhosis (or scarring of the liver).

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Chronic Lung Diseases

Having a chronic lung disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic lung diseases can include:

  • Asthma, if it’s moderate to severe
  • Bronchiectasis (thickening of the lungs’ airways)
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (chronic lung disease affecting newborns)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Having damaged or scarred lung tissue known as interstitial lung disease (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs)
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)

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Cystic Fibrosis

Having cystic fibrosis, with or without lung or other solid organ transplant (like kidney, liver, intestines, heart, and pancreas) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Dementia or Other Neurological Conditions

Having neurological conditions, such as dementia, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Diabetes (Type 1 or 2)

Having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Disabilities

People with some types of disabilities may be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 because of underlying medical conditions, living in congregate settings, or systemic health and social inequities, including:

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Heart Conditions

Having heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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HIV Infection

Having HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Immunocompromised State (Weakened Immune System)

Some people are immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. For example, people on chemotherapy or who have had solid organ transplant, like a kidney transplant or heart transplant. Being immunocompromised can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. For example, some people inherit problems with their immune system. Once example is called Primary immunodeficiency. Other people have to use certain types of medicines for a long time, like corticosteroids, that weaken their immune system. Such long-term uses can lead to secondary or acquired immunodeficiency.

People who are immunocompromised or are taking medicines that weaken their immune system may not be protected even if they are up to date on their vaccines. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for people who are not vaccinated, including wearing a well-fitting mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare professionals.

After completing the primary series, some moderately or severely immunocompromised people should get an additional primary shot.

Everyone 12 years and older, including immunocompromised people, should get a booster shot. If you are eligible for an additional primary shot, you should get this dose first before you get a booster shot.

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Mental Health Conditions

Having mood disorders, including depression, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Overweight and Obesity

Overweight, obesity, or severe obesity, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. The risk of severe COVID-19 illness increases sharply with higher BMI.

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Physical Inactivity

People who do little or no physical activity, or exercise, are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 than those who are physically active. Being physically active (or exercising regularly) is important to being healthy. Get more information on physical activity and health, physical activity recommendations, how to become more active, and how to create activity-friendly communities:

Pregnancy

Pregnant and recently pregnant people (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy) are most likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people.

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Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia

Having hemoglobin blood disorders like sick cell disease (SCD) or thalassemia can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Smoking, Current or Former

Being a current or former cigarette smoker can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don’t start again. If you’ve never smoked, don’t smart.

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Solid Organ or Blood Stem Cell Transplant

Having a solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, which includes marrow transplants, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Stroke or Cerebrovascular Disease

Having cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Substance Use Disorders

Having a substance use disorder (such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Tuberculosis

Having tuberculosis can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Actions You Can Take

It is important to protect yourself and others by taking preventive measures against COVID-19:

  • Stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines
  • Wear a well-fitting mask
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • Test to prevent the spread to others
  • Wash your hands often
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Monitor your health daily

Seek Care When Needed

  • Call your healthcare professionals if you have any concerns about your medical conditions or if you get sick and think that you may have COVID-19. Discuss steps you can take to manage your health and risks. If you need emergency help, call 911 right away.
  • Do not delay getting care for your medical condition because of COVID-19. Emergency departments, urgent care, clinics, and your healthcare professionals have infection prevention plans to help protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care.

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html