Groups at risk for COVID-19 advised to stay home if possible

Those over the age of 70 or without an intact immune system are more at risk for the virus
Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 17:09:51-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In the wake of Michigan's first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, medical professionals are advising the most-at-risk to take extra precautions.

Dr. Julie Kehdi, an infectious disease physician at Spectrum Health, said Wednesday, “It's always a good idea to stay on top of your medical care.”

Truer now than ever before she says, as those with an already-compromised immune system are at a much higher risk of suffering the debilitating symptoms of COVID-19.

“Those people who are either older age, so, over 70 is kind of where we're seeing the biggest change. And then also people who don't have an intact immune system,” Kehdi told FOX 17 Wednesday afternoon.

She says people who have asthma or respiratory diseases, COPD, emphysema or similar ailments are at a higher risk.

If you fall into one of these more-at-risk groups there are still ways you can better protect your health.

"Wiping down surfaces especially handles, light switches, where a lot of people are touching, wiping them down with either rubbing alcohol on a cloth or Lysol or some type of like a bleach.” Dr Kehdi said. “Everybody should really be washing their hands, covering their cough, trying not to go out into unnecessary public gatherings if they're feeling ill.”

If you are experiencing any sort of flu-like symptoms, call ahead before driving to see your doctor. Physicians at West Michigan hospitals may be able to see you through a video service like Spectrum's 'Spectrum Health Now' service.

Kehdi said, “everybody won't respond the same way. So you may be protecting somebody else's grandparent or, you know, a child with asthma if you stay home.”

You can visit the Centers for Disease Control website for the latest information on COVID-19.