Persons who have been in close contact with patients with confirmed SARS/CoV-2 infections for more than 15 minutes are at the highest risk. Because of the increased likelihood of close contact, people who are frequently found in congregate settings, such as homeless shelters, assisted-living facilities, college dormitories, or college dorms, are more likely to contract the infection. People who have been in areas of sustained transmission are also at greater risk. Everyone can reduce their risk by wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing. They also need to wash their hands frequently and take other preventative measures.
Who Is At Greatest Risk Of Severe COVID-19 Symptoms?
COVID-19, a brand new disease, is being studied by the CDC every day. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 in adults increases with age. Older adults are at the greatest risk. COVID-19 can lead to severe illness, which may result in the need for hospitalization, intensive treatment, ventilators, or even death. SARS-CoV-2 infection is also more likely to strike people of all ages with certain medical conditions.
What should I do to my patient if they have an underlying medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19-related disease?
Keep up-to-date with the most recent evidence regarding the risk to patients with underlying medical conditions. The latest information will be provided by the CDC as soon as it becomes available.
You are familiar with the overall health of your patients and how they are being managed. You can use your clinical judgment to assess each patient’s risk level.
Assist patients in managing their underlying conditions. Encourage them to take their prescribed medications and ensure that they have enough medication. To ensure that they have sufficient medication, you might prescribe three months of medications.
All patients should be made aware that chronic conditions such as diabetes and other medical issues may require immediate care or in-person visits. Stress the importance to seek emergency care when necessary.
Your patients who need emergency care should be assured that the emergency departments (ED) have infection prevention programs to prevent them from contracting SARS-CoV-2 in the ED.
Tell patients suffering from underlying conditions which increase their chances of serious illness or worsening outcomes from COVID-19:
To reduce your chance of contracting COVID-19, take precautions.
Follow closely their care plans to manage their chronic disease.
If any of their underlying conditions worsen or require immediate attention, seek emergency care.
All patients, regardless of risk, should be encouraged to:
To protect yourself, take precautions.
If you have a fever, a cough, or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider.
Follow the CDC Travel Guidelines and follow the advice of your state or local health officials.
Anxiety and fear about a new illness can be overwhelming for people with underlying risk factors, who are in close contact with patients infected, or those with stress sources outside of work. Take care of yourself, and encourage your patients to follow the guidelines.
This post was written by a medical professional at The Wellness Firm. The Wellness Firm provides onsite Flu Shots, onsite rapid COVID event testing, employee physical examination, as well as American Heart Association CPR certification classes. We have professionals that provide in-person hands-on, quality training.