Individuals experiencing disabilities and chronic health problems may be at an increased risk due to the COVID-19 virus.
According to the CDC, early information shows that some people are at a high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 (also known as the coronavirus). Specifically, individuals with serious underlying medical conditions and those with a weakened immune system, including those undergoing cancer treatment are at a greater risk. According to the Red Cross, among the serious underlying medical conditions that subject an individual to a greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19 are: heart, lung or liver diseases; diabetes; moderate to severe asthma; severe obesity; and renal failure.
There are some important steps that can be followed in order to keep yourself and others safe. Namely, you should stay home if you can and avoid any non-essential travel and practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet (about two arms lengths) away from others if you must go out in public. You can stay connected with loved ones through video and phone calls, texts, and social media. Additionally, you should wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. It is also important to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and clean and disinfect household surfaces.
If you develop symptoms that become severe, call to get medical attention immediately. Such warning signs include: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and blueish lips or face. According to the Red Cross, this is not a complete list and you should consult your doctor for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.