The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have expanded the set of groups who are at higher risk for contracting a severe form of COVID-19. The new guidance states that rather than only those who are age 65 and older having a heightened risk, the risk steadily increases with age. The list of preexisting medical conditions that may be tied to severe infection has also expanded to include chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obesity, sickle cell disease, type 2 diabetes, and several others. The CDC also updated the list of conditions that might increase the risk of severe COVID-19, adding asthma, pregnancy, and dementia to the list, among other conditions.
“Understanding who is most at risk for severe illness helps people make the best decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement. “While we are all at risk for COVID-19, we need to be aware of who is susceptible to severe complications so that we take appropriate measures to protect their health and well-being.”