Some Diseases That Can Increase The Risk Of COVID-19
COVID-19 can affect anyone regardless of age or gender. However, COVID-19 is known to be more at risk of attacking people with certain medical conditions. In this group, COVID-19 also tends to cause more severe complications and symptoms.
Not all people infected with the Coronavirus will experience severe symptoms of COVID-19 in the form of shortness of breath, chest pain, and high fever. There are some people with COVID-19 who only experience mild symptoms such as flu. Some have no symptoms at all even though they have been positively infected with the Coronavirus.
The percentage of deaths due to COVID-19 in the age group under 50 years is relatively low. Based on information from WHO, severe symptoms and serious complications due to COVID-19 are more often experienced by elderly people and people with certain medical conditions, for example people who suffer from chronic infectious diseases.
Why are non-communicable diseases sufferers vulnerable to COVID-19 infection?
Most non-communicable diseases are chronic, which occurs slowly and can persist for long periods. Besides lasting a long time, chronic diseases can also cause the sufferer’s health condition to decrease gradually, making it vulnerable to infection.
According to several studies, people who are infected with the Coronavirus and suffer from chronic diseases have a higher risk of experiencing severe severe symptoms, such as those in the elderly.
This is because chronic diseases cause the sufferer’s immune system to weaken and are more difficult to fight infection. As a result, the body of chronic disease sufferers will be more susceptible to diseases, including COVID-19 caused by Coronavirus infection.
Besides, most chronic disease sufferers also have experienced organ damage. When attacked by the Coronavirus, damage to these organs can become more severe, so that the symptoms of COVID-19 that appear can also be more severe.
What are the types of diseases that make sufferers vulnerable to COVID-19?
Several diseases are known to make sufferers at high risk of being infected with the Coronavirus and experiencing COVID-19 with more severe symptoms, namely:
- Chronic respiratory disorders
COVID-19 generally attacks the respiratory tract. Therefore, people who have chronic respiratory diseases, such as COPD and asthma, are at high risk of experiencing severe symptoms when infected with the Coronavirus.
When contracted COVID-19, sufferers of chronic respiratory diseases will be more prone to experience severe respiratory disorders, such as asthma attacks, pneumonia, or even respiratory failure.
- Cardiovascular disease
Patients with cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and hypertension, generally have a poor heart condition and a weaker immune system. This makes sufferers of the disease vulnerable to suffer from COVID-19 with more severe symptoms.
Some reports also mention that the risk of death from COVID-19 in patients with cardiovascular disease is higher than COVID-19 patients who were previously healthy.
Uncontrolled diabetes, in the long run, can cause a weak immune system and damage to various organs of the body. This is what makes diabetics more vulnerable to COVID-19 and fatal complications due to Coronavirus infection.
Besides, Coronavirus infection also appears to increase the risk of dangerous complications from diabetes, such as diabetic ketoacidosis and sepsis. These diabetes complications can increase the risk of death from COVID-19 in diabetics.
- Kidney disease
Coronavirus infections most often affect the respiratory tract, but this virus can also damage other organs, including the kidneys. Some reports have also mentioned that there are some patients with COVID-19 who experience acute kidney failure, even though they have no history of kidney disease.
Besides, Coronavirus infection is also known to be more at risk for people who have chronic kidney disease, routinely undergo dialysis procedures, or have had kidney transplant operations.
Cancer patients are in the high-risk group infected with the Coronavirus with severe symptoms and serious complications. This is because the immune system of cancer sufferers is not strong in fighting infection.
Weak immune systems of cancer patients can be caused by various things, for example, disorders of white blood cells or side effects of chemotherapy.
In addition to some of the diseases above, COVID-19 is also more at risk of attacking sufferers of autoimmune diseases. This is because sufferers of the disease will generally get immunosuppressive drugs so that their immune systems are weak and vulnerable to infection.
What to Do People with chronic non-communicable diseases during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Patients with non-communicable diseases above are advised to apply social distancing, which is now also called physical distancing, to reduce the risk of COVID-19. If you have to leave the house, limit the distance to others at least 1.5–2 meters, and avoid crowds or crowded places.
Besides, chronic disease sufferers also need to routinely consume medicines prescribed by doctors so that the disease can be controlled.
During this difficult time, sufferers of chronic non-communicable diseases need to continue to live a healthy lifestyle to strengthen their endurance. This can be done by consuming balanced nutritious food, diligently washing hands, reducing stress, exercising regularly at home, and avoiding cigarette smoke.
If you have a chronic disease that has been mentioned above and experience symptoms of fever, coughing, or shortness of breath, especially if you have been in close contact with people who suffer or are suspected of suffering from COVID-19, do not go directly to the hospital but immediately contact the nearest hospital so the medical team can provide information about the procedure that you must do before you go to the hospital for further examination.