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CHRONIC DISEASE CONTROL BRANCH​

COVID-19 and Chronic Conditions

COVID-19 Graphic

What is COVID-19? ​

People who have chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, heart or lung disease, diabetes or asthma, and older adults are at higher risk of becoming very ill and dying from COVID-19. COVID-19 is an illness caused by a virus. The most common symptoms are fever, coughing, and trouble breathing. Some people infected by the virus don’t feel sick, but they can still spread the virus.

​Long COVID (post-COVID Symptoms)​

​​​​​Some people have new, returning, or lingering symptoms weeks to months after having COVID-19. This condition can be called many names including post-COVID conditions, long COVID, long haul COVID, and Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). People with these conditions are sometimes called “long-haulers.” Since July 2021, post-COVID conditions have been considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Anyone who had COVID-19 can develop a post-COVID condition, including people who had COVID-19 with no symptoms or very mild symptoms. People in any age group can develop post-COVID conditions, but they appear to be less common in children compared to adults. There is still a lot we do not know about post-COVID conditions, and this is an area of active research. 

Learn more about post-COVID conditions: Post-COVID Conditions (or Long COVID)

​Am I at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19? ​

​If you have one of these risk factors, you are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and should take extra care to protect yourself from COVID-19. 

  • Older than 65 
  • Obesity 
  • Asthma and lung disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Are a smoker
  • ​Experiencing a weakened immune system that cannot fight germs because of cancer treatment or a disease like the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.​

​​How can I protect my loved ones and myself?

  • Keep up with your routine medical appointments. ​
  • Make sure your blood pressure and diabetes are under control. 
  • Wear a face covering 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Stock up on healthy foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. 
  • Continue taking your medications as prescribed. 
  • Get the flu shot! 
  • Clean objects or surfaces in your home 
  • Create a list of contacts to call on if needed, such as friends, relatives, coworkers, and neighbors. 
  • Keep a smoke and vape-free home to lower the risk of lung damage. 
  • Get free help to quit smoking or vaping by calling 1-800-NO-BUTTS, 1-800-45-NO-FUME, or 1-844-8-NO-VAPE.​
Doctor testing patient                       COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card
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