ADVICE FOR HIGHER RISK PEOPLE DURING COVID-19
What You Need To Know To Stay Healthy And Safe
Coronavirus disease is an illness that affects the airways and lungs. It is caused by a type of coronavirus that is spread like the flu from person-to-person. People with some existing health conditions and older people have a higher risk of more severe symptoms if they contract with COVID-19. It is a good idea to keep yourself healthy from the coronavirus disease and any other viral illness by following basic hygiene measures;
- Clean your surfaces frequently
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose, and eyes
- Sneezing or coughing with a tissue or using your elbow
- Regular washing of hands using soap and water and drying them thoroughly
- Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available
People At Risk Of Severe Illness
You are considered to be at risk of severe complications from COVID-19 if you are working. If possible, you can talk with your employer about doing a risk assessment in your workplace. If you can’t safely work at your workplace and aren’t able to work from home, you will need to agree with your employer what your leave from work and pay arrangements will be.
People With Compromised Immunity And Medical Conditions
One of the main reasons for COVID-19 becoming a serve illness is the presence of the underlying health conditions especially if these are not well controlled. Some medical conditions include:
- Liver disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Serious heart conditions
- Chronic lung disease
Treatments and conditions that weaken your immune system;
- Immunity weakening medications
- Having radiotherapy or chemotherapy
- Some blood cancers
- Bone marrow or organ transplantation
Older people with an underlying health condition are more at risk of severe conditions from COVID-19. Overall, the risk will increase with age but it is mainly an issue for people aged over 70.
People In Aged Care Facilities
People in aged care facilities are more at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. It is because of their age and frailty. They are also more likely to have underlying conditions. Aged care facilities are susceptible to the rapid transmission of the coronavirus disease. Everyone has a part to play to protect residents of aged care facilities including staff, friends, and family.
Other Factors Contributing To Risk
People with a history of smoking are more likely to have severe symptoms of COVID-19 and be admitted to the ICU or intensive care unit.
There is some indication that people who are obese are at a higher risk of being severely ill from COVID-19.
Pregnant women in their third trimester and those with underlying health conditions must keep themselves well and take extra precautions. This is a time when a growing and developing baby means needing a higher demand for oxygen on the mother. If you are in your third trimester, having underlying conditions, and works in an area where there is a high risk of exposure to the coronavirus, you must discuss and agree with your employer as an option for working differently.