Everyone’s talking about the growing threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) as the U.S. declared a state of emergency on Friday and many states have initiated steps to slow the virus’ spread through “social distancing,” including cancelling large events, closing schools, and encouraging people to remain at home.
While the immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is low for most Americans, older adults and people with serious health conditions such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes are at higher risk of getting very sick — and dying — from this illness. Why? Because immune systems are less effective when compromised by disease or age.
For the average American, we’ve all heard the best practices to help reduce the spread of the disease — from washing hands to disinfecting high-touch surfaces, to staying home. And it’s not just about you; by taking precautions, you can help prevent the spread to someone else who may be at much higher risk.
For those individuals with serious health conditions, check out these helpful resources from our nonprofit partners, designed for specific at-risk communities, including:
- American Cancer Society
- American Diabetes Association
- American Heart Association
- American Lung Association
- Arthritis Foundation
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Lupus Foundation of America
- March of Dimes
- National Kidney Foundation
- Caregivers Action Network
- American Liver Foundation
- ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer
- Epilepsy Foundation
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- ALS Association
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
As with any crisis, take precautions, communicate with your family and health professionals, and listen to local officials. The more you learn, the more you can properly prepare and respond.