By Crystal Malchose, PIO, Pottawatomie County
This is an informational feature supported by the Pottawatomie County Commission to assist in providing educational information regarding the COVID-19 virus to citizens.
When discussing mitigation techniques, we hear “people at increased risk” or “high-risk individuals” should take extra precautions. Who qualifies as a “high-risk” individual? The CDC, the Mayo Clinic, John Hopkins Medicine, and others provide information on people at increased risk of contagious diseases, severe illnesses, and viruses such as COVID-19. This information, updated on the CDC website July 17, 2020, includes recent data on conditions that “might” increase risk.
Older adults: The older a person is, the higher the risk for severe illness due to COVID-19. The greatest risk is among those 85 and up.
Underlying Medical Conditions: People of any age with certain conditions are at increased risk:
*Chronic Kidney Disease
*Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
*Sickle Cell Disease
*Compromised Immune System (due to solid organ transplant)
People with the following conditions may be at increased risk:
*Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
*Neurologic conditions (such as dementia)
*Compromised Immune System (due to blood or bone marrow transplant, or other immune deficiency)
According to the CDC, the best advice for high-risk individuals includes 1. Education, know how the virus spreads. The best way to prevent getting COVID-19, is to avoid being exposed to it. 2. Personal hygiene. Wash your hands, and frequently touched items, often. 3. Avoid close contact with others. Avoid those in your home who are sick; and maintain at least 6’ physical distance from others. 4. Cover your mouth and nose with a face cover when around others. Also, always cover your mouth with a tissue, or your elbow if a tissue is not available, when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of used tissues promptly, and wash your hands. 5. Monitor your health daily. Watch for symptoms, take your temperature, and follow CDC guidelines or contact your primary care physician if you develop symptoms or have questions.