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Disease Groups That Can Increase 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 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 COVID-19 is positive.

Based on information from WHO, severe symptoms and serious complications due to COVID-19 are more often experienced by older people and people with certain medical conditions, for example, people suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD).

Why is the Non-Communicable Disease Vulnerable to COVID-19 infection?

Most non-communicable diseases are chronic, which occur 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 Coronavirus and have chronic diseases are at higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms, such as those in the elderly.

This is because chronic diseases cause the sufferer's immune system to be weakened 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.

Also, most chronic disease sufferers already have organ damage. When attacked by Coronavirus, damage to these organs can become more severe, so that the symptoms of COVID-19 that appear can also become more severe. Most non-communicable diseases are chronic, which occur 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 Coronavirus and have chronic diseases are at higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms, such as those in the elderly.

This is because chronic diseases cause the sufferer's immune system to be weakened 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.

Also, most chronic disease sufferers already have organ damage. When attacked by Coronavirus, damage to these organs can become more severe, so that the symptoms of COVID-19 that appear can also become more severe.

Read Also : Herd Immunity, an Anticipated Way to Suppress the Spread of COVID-19

What Types of Non-Communicable Diseases Vulnerable to COVID-19?

Many types of diseases are included in the group of non-communicable diseases. However, several diseases are known to have a high risk of causing COVID-19 with more severe symptoms, namely:

1. Chronic respiratory disorders

COVID-19 generally attacks the respiratory tract. Therefore, people who have chronic health problems in the respiratory tract, such as COPD and asthma, are at high risk of experiencing severe symptoms when infected with Coronavirus.

When contracted COVID-19, sufferers of chronic respiratory distress will be more vulnerable to severe respiratory disorders, such as asthma attacks, pneumonia, or even respiratory failure.

2. Cancer

Cancer patients are in the high-risk group infected with Coronavirus with severe symptoms and serious complications. This is because the immune system of cancer sufferers is not strong in fighting infection.

The weak immune system of cancer patients can be caused by various things, for example, disorders of white blood cells and 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 immune-suppressive drugs so that their immune systems are weak and vulnerable to infection.

3. Diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes, in the long run, can cause a weak immune system and damage to various organs of the body. This is what makes diabetes 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.

4. 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 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.

5. 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 some patients with COVID-19 have experienced acute kidney failure, even though they have no history of kidney disease.

Also, Coronavirus infection is known to be more at risk for people who have chronic kidney disease, routinely undergo dialysis procedures, or people who have had kidney transplant operations.

Read Also : Various Terms Related to Corona Virus and COVID-19

What should an NCD Patient Do During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Patients with non-communicable diseases (NCD) above are advised to implement 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.

Also, sufferers of NCD need to routinely consume drugs prescribed by doctors so that the disease can be controlled.

During this difficult time, people with NCD also 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, cough, or shortness of breath, especially if you have been in close contact with people who suffer or are suspected of suffering from COVID-19, immediately contact the hospital or the COVID-19 hotline.





References

References

  1. Cascella, et al. NCBI Bookshelf (2020). Features, Evaluation and Treatment Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  2. Bernell, S. & Howard, S.W. (2016). Use Your Words Carefully: What Is a Chronic Disease? Frontiers in Public Health.
  3. World Health Organization (2018). Noncommunicable Disease.
  4. University of California San Francisco (2020). FAQ: Coronavirus and Patients with Cancer.
  5. American Cancer Society (2020). Why People with Cancer are More Likely to Get Infections.

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Health and clinical interests include all aspects of infectious diseases

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