What are underlying health conditions?

Local News

Health officials say many of those who have died from the coronavirus had underlying health issues.

Dr. Frank Welch, Medical Director for the Bureau for Community Preparedness, says chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, diabetes, kidney failure or liver disease is an underlying health issue.

So far, Louisiana has reported more than 3,300 cases and 137 deaths. More than 900 patients are in the hospital with roughly a third on ventilators.

Dr. Welch says the coronavirus mortality rate, among those with prior conditions, is nothing to take lightly.

“If you have one of those high risk conditions, if you get a fever or cold like symptoms don’t hesitate to call your doctor and let them know,” Welch said. “You maybe need to go to the emergency room.”

Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said early analysis indicates conditions among those COVID-19 deaths include diabetes, kidney disease and obesity.

“We are second I believe per capita in the number of deaths, obviously this is a public health emergency,” Gov. Edwards said.

Dr. Welch says the best action everyone can take is keeping their distance.

Welch suggests pregnant women are also vulnerable to complications if they catch the virus.

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