CDC broadens guidance on Americans facing risk of severe Covid-19

CDC broadens guidance on Americans facing risk of severe Covid-19

Though younger, asymptomatic individuals are at lower risk of complications and death from COVID-19, they pose a risk of "unwittingly" transmitting the virus to elders and those with underlying medical conditions, Redfield said.

The estimate of 20 million infected with the coronavirus is about 6 percent of the USA population and almost 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million confirmed cases in the country. And the risk for serious illness or death increases the older you are.

While everyone is at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, some people are more likely than others to become severely ill, meaning they may require hospitalization, intensive care or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they may even die.

Previously, the CDC said that adults older than 65 were at increased risk for severe illness, but now says that the risk among adults increases steadily with age, and is not limited to those over 65. However, pregnant women were not at greater risk for death from COVID-19.

"If we fail to address racial and ethnic groups as at high risk for prioritization, whatever comes out of our group will be looked at very suspiciously and with a lot of reservation", said Dr. Jose Romero, chair of the expert panel.

The nation's top public health agency on Thursday revamped its list of which Americans are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness, adding pregnant women and removing age alone as a factor. The most common is obesity, a condition that affects 42.5% of adults in the U.S.

The new guidance breaks down medical conditions that can influence disease severity into those for which there is strong evidence, and those for which the evidence is not as strong, classifying the latter as conditions that might increase the risk of severe illness.

Given the risks, Redfield urged Americans to continue to take precautions.

The number of new coronavirus infections is approaching record daily levels in the USA, with more than 35,900 cases recorded on Wednesday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

But more recent data from across the United States shows that younger adults are also at risk and should not assume they will be spared from a serious case of the disease. He also pointed to the importance of face coverings and good hand hygiene.

"As we go into the fall, in the winter, these are going to be really, really important defence mechanisms". [These are] really powerful tools.

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