Am I at risk of getting COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that spreads person-to-person. Unless you avoid complete contact with people, then yes you are at risk of getting COVID-19.
However, if you are a generally healthy adult under 60, your chance of getting very sick from COVID-19 is low. Information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention so far suggests most COVID-19 illnesses are mild. A report out of China – where COVID-19 originated – estimates serious illness occurs in 16 percent of cases.
There are certain populations that are a higher risk of getting very sick or even dying from COVID-19. This includes:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease
- People with compromised or weakened immune systems
- Cancer patients
The CDC reports there is no current evidence whether or not pregnant women are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19. Still, with viruses from the same family as COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections, such as the flu, pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing severe illness. The CDC says it’s always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses.
If you are a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or health condition, it’s extra important to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick from the virus. You should:
- Take precautions to keep space between yourself and others
- Avoid crowds as much as possible
- Keep away from others who are sick
- Wash your hands often
- Keep commonly-touched surfaces sanitized
- Stock up on supplies
- Avoid non-essential air and cruise travel