Are You at Higher Risk for Severe Illness? (COVID-19)

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COVID-19 can cause mild to severe illness. In most cases the illness will be mild. However, some individuals are at greater risk of severe illness. As we learn more about COVID-19 as this outbreak progresses, one of the key things we have learned about this virus is that older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and/or chronic lung diseases, are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Adults aged 65 and older should take extra precautions. If you are older or have a serious underlying medical condition, please:

CDC What To Do if You Are Sick

  • Wear a cloth mask in public.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid close contact (at least 6 feet) with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick. For a free online health assessment, please see our listing of telehealth virtual care providers in South Carolina.

Other individuals with increased risk for severe illness include:

Those who are charged with caring for a family member, friend, or neighbor who is at greater risk for becoming ill are asked to follow information provided by CDC and DHEC to safely provide this care at home. If you are caring for yourself at home, click here.

Although it has been noted that overall children with COVID-19 infections have had a milder course of illness than older persons, a new severe illness has just recently been described that seems to be affecting a few infected children. This new illness is being called the “Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children” (MIS-C).

MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal (such as the stomach or intestines) organs. The causes of MIS-C are not yet fully understood, but many children with MIS-C had previously had COVID-19 disease. Though MIS-C can be serious and has resulted in some deaths, most children who have had this condition have recovered with medical care.

Are you a WIC participant?

For the latest information from our Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, click here.

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Community Survey COVID-19 Statewide