Who is most at risk for the coronavirus?

Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill. But some people are at a higher risk and need to take extra steps to avoid becoming unwell.

People at increased risk are usually 70 or older, pregnant or have a condition that may increase your risk from coronavirus.

Conditions that may increase your risk:

  • Lung conditions, such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis
  • Heart disease, such as heart failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • Conditions affecting the brain and nerves, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • Diabetes
  • Problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease, or if you've had your spleen removed
  • A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • Being very overweight (having a BMI of 40 or above)

People most at risk from coronavirus are sometimes called 'shielded' or 'extremely vulnerable' people.

This includes people who:

  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • Have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • Have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • Have a condition or are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections
  • Are pregnant and have a serious heart condition.

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