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Ask Dr. Nandi: CDC broadens guidance on Americans facing risk of severe COVID-19

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 17:46:25-04

(WXYZ) — The CDC has broadened its guidance and updated its risk factors for COVID-19. Gone is the "65 and older" age category. Instead, the CDC is focusing on "People Who Need to Take Extra Precautions".

The CDC is recognizing that we're in a different situation now. Back in March, the virus was really hitting older adults. Whereas now, there are a lot more younger people getting sick.

And while hospitalizations and deaths for young folks are not as high, we can't ignore the fact that they do happen. So after analyzing cases across the U.S., the CDC is now focusing on two distinct categories when it comes to those who are most risk of developing severe disease from COVID-19.

The first one is called "Older Adults". And the second one is called "People with Medical Conditions".

That second one is what young folks really need to pay attention to. Because their risk is definitely elevated if they have any of the listed health conditions.

The first category includes conditions that put people at an increased risk of severe illness and they are:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity with a body mass index of 30 or higher
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Any immuno-suppressing condition or weakened immune system and
  • Serious heart conditions like coronary artery disease or heart failure

Now, the second category relates to conditions that 'might' put you at an increased risk and they include:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Moderate-to-severe asthma
  • Liver disease and
  • Neurologic conditions like dementia

It looks to me like the CDC is no longer drawing a line in regards to age. Instead, they're pointing out that as you get older, your risk goes up.

So for example, people in their 50s are at higher risk than those in their 40s.

However, no matter how old you are, you really need to keep in mind those medical conditions I listed that up your odds of getting very sick. And I feel that our younger generation needs to be a lot more concerned about this.

Even if you don't have any health conditions, you can still pass the virus on to others who may have them. So please, reduce your risk by social distancing, wearing a mask, disinfecting, and washing your hands often.

On this week’s Dr. Nandi show, are vaccinations safe for our children? It’s one of the most controversial issues not only here in the US but around the globe. The World Health Organization claims 2 to 3 million deaths are prevented every year because of vaccines. On the other side of the debate, critics believe they are dangerous and cause irreparable damage to our children. Tune in this Sunday, June 28thth at 5 pm to hear a powerful discussion on the merits of vaccinations for children with Dr. Partha Nandi, MD, and guests.

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