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The world is currently submerged in a very difficult and confusing time.
via: GettyCOVID-19 has taken our planet hostage, and is showing no signs of letting go anytime soon.
The virus primarily affects the respiratory system.
via: GettyAnd common symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
But, in more severe cases...
via: GettyAnd in patients who are elderly and have existing health issues, the virus can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Over 300,000 people all over the world have now been infected with the virus...
via: Getty341,816 to be precise. And, devastatingly, a staggering 14,757 more have been reported to have died from the illness.
It's a dire situation.
via: GettyAnd the virus is showing no signs of slowing down.
World leaders have been left with little choice but to bring their countries to a total stand-still...
via: GettyAnd many have banned large and crowded events, and any travel to and from infected countries.
Italy has even gone into total lockdown...
via: GettyLeaving their streets completely deserted.
And it didn't take long for the virus to reach us here in the States.
via: GettyOur first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Washington in late January after a citizen returned from a trip to China.
And, since then, the numbers have been rising at a frightening pace.
via: GettySince the first COVID-19 patient in Washington, there have been 35,070 confirmed cases across the country and 458 deaths.
Several cities have declared states of emergencies...
via: GettyAnd, earlier this month, President Trump declared a national emergency to combat the coronavirus pandemic, freeing up $50 billion in federal funding and promising a screening website and drive-by tests.
His move came after the World Health Organization confirmed COVID-19 as a pandemic last week.
via: GettyFYI... A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.
He also announced a temporary travel ban...
via: GettyWhich prohibits any travel between the United States and any European country, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Yep, things are getting pretty serious.And many people have been descending into mass hysteria over the risks the virus brings with it.
Amid the outbreak, there's been a lot of talk about "at-risk groups" and "underlying health conditions."
via: ShutterstockAll of which can make someone more at risk of the virus, and make the symptoms even more serious. While we know that for many of us, the virus can have mild symptoms, there are some groups where matters can be much more severe.
But what are the specific health conditions and lifestyle factors that make the virus more serious for someone?
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday significantly ramped up California's response to coronavirus, calling for the closure o… https://t.co/0Pekscpvwv— Los Angeles Times (@Los Angeles Times)1584306934.0
via: ShutterstockAccording to the British Heart Foundation, those with heart disease or circulatory problems are a greater risk of suffering complications and being admitted to the hospital due to the virus.
via: ShutterstockAs per the American Lung Association, those with life-long lung conditions are at greater risk of suffering worsened symptoms.
via: ShutterstockThe American Diabetes Association states that those with diabetes are not necessarily more at risk of catching the virus, but of suffering complications and severe symptoms if they do get infected.
High blood pressure.
via: ShutterstockThe Times reports that those with high blood pressure, especially men - according to studies across Europe and Asia - are at greater risk.
"It’s now come out in several studies — a very strong association with high blood pressure," Professor Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, explained.
“It’s not a pattern that we’re used to. In influenza the main risk factor is asthma. This is different: high blood pressure is not a risk factor for influenza."
via: ShutterstockThose currently undergoing treatments for cancer have a weakened immune system caused by both cancer and the treatment.
Patients with HIV.
via: ShutterstockIt is believed that those with low CD4 counts and those without consistent access to HIV treatment are at an increased risk.
Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis (MS).
via: ShutterstockTreatments for these diseases cause the individual to become "immunosuppressed," aka they have a weaker immune system, therefore having a greater chance of being infected.
Inflammatory bowel diseases.
via: ShutterstockThe same as above - these individuals have a weakened immune system already.
via: ShutterstockAsthma sufferers are also thought to be at increased risk due to the virus causing an infection in the respiratory tract. Jessica Kirby, head of health advice at Asthma UK, said: "Respiratory viruses like this can trigger asthma symptoms and could lead to an asthma attack." "It is essential that you take your preventer, daily as prescribed. This helps cut the risk of an asthma attack being triggered by any virus, including coronavirus."
via: ShutterstockSmoking, including second-hand smoking, gives people a heightened risk as it "reduces your natural protection against infections, like coronavirus," a press release from the Irish health service states.
Yet, amid all of these conditions and lifestyle choices...
via: GettyIt is the elderly who are the most vulnerable in this crisis.
But, one elderly woman has somehow defied all odds...
via: GettyBy fully recovering from the virus, despite being in one of the high-risk categories.
Alma Clara Corsini, from Fanano in Modena, Italy, is ninety-five-years old...
via: GettyAnd was admitted to hospital on March 5th, after contracting the potentially deadly virus.
Admittedly, her odds weren't looking great.
via: GettyBut, according to Italian media, Ms. Corsini's health improved "without antiviral therapy", making her the oldest person to recover from the virus in her country.
She has taken the whole thing in her stride.
via: TwitterThe pensioner t0ld Italian newspaper Gazzetta Di Modena: "Yes, yes, I'm fine. They were good people who looked after me well, and now they'll send me home in a little while."
The grandmother has now been sent home...
via: GettyWhere she will remain while the rest of Italy continues with its lockdown. Sadly, Italy isn't the only country in full lockdown as the rest of the world has been brought to a complete standstill... Including Hollywood. Keep scrolling to hear which TV shows and movies have been postponed and delayed by the virus...