Am I at risk for developing a severe case of coronavirus?

Most people testing positive for coronavirus will experience it lightly in the form of a flu-like illness. On the other hand, the older population or people suffering from chronic illnesses and immunosuppression are at increased risk of developing a more serious manifestation of the illness, which can possibly even lead to death.

What background medical conditions or illnesses pose a significant risk factor for developing this more serious manifestation of the coronavirus?

Following is a partial list of the more common conditions and diseases that define who is at risk of developing complications:

At risk group:

  • People from the age of 60-65.
  • Smokers.

Background medical conditions:

  • Heart diseases, including cardiac insufficiency (also known as heart failure), ischemic heart disease or people after cardiac catheterization and severe valvular heart disease.
  • Lung diseases, including moderate severe asthma, emphysema, COPD.
  • Diabetes.
  • Hypertension.
  • Chronic kidney disease.

Various immunosuppressed conditions:

  • Tumor disease.
  • Hematological conditions including leukemia and lymphoma.
  • Transplantations (kidney, liver, lung)
  • Bone marrow transplantation.
  • Genetic or congenital immunosuppression.
  • HIV with immunosuppression.
  • Chronic immune inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis that require immunosuppressive therapy and more), and autoimmune diseases that are treated with one of the drugs listed below:

Immunosuppressive Drugs:

  • Steroids (Prednisone, Dexamethasone and the like)
  • Tracrolimus (Prograf)
  • Sirolimus
  • Everolimus
  • Azatioprine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Methotrexate
  • Imuran
  • Interferon
  • Mycophenolate
  • Purinethol
  • Anti-TNF – Infliximab (Remicade, Remsima), Adalimumab (Humera), Golimumab (Simponi)
  • Ustekinumab (Stelara), Vedolizumab (Mabthera)

Oncology or HematologyOncology Treatment:

Chemotherapy, biological therapy, radiation (hormonal and immunology treatments – less)

Information provided by:

Dr. Einat Shacham Shmueli, Head of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Unit at Sheba’s Cancer Center and,

Prof. Eyal Leshem, Director of the Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Diseases at Sheba Medical Center

*This content is general information and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.