COVID-19 electron microscope

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.

Q: If I receive treatment for my preexisting conditions, am I still at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?

A: Yes. Anybody with an underlying medical condition is at a higher risk to develop serious illness from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You are at higher risk particularly if your medical condition is not well controlled or being treated.

The CDCs says that underlying medical conditions that could put you at higher risk include:

  • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Immunocompromised
  • Body mass index of 40 or higher
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • Liver disease

If you are being treated for these or other conditions, you should continue your medication as usual, according to the CDC. Although people over the age of 65 and people of any age with an underlying medical condition are at higher risk for complications from COVID-19, even young, healthy people can get seriously ill from the disease.

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