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Underlying health conditions are a large part of the COVID-19 story

Local News

The longer the pandemic goes on, the more scientists are learning about the coronavirus and who is most vulnerable.

North Dakota’s Chief Health Strategist Dr. Joshua Wynne says in most serious COVID-19 cases, especially those that result in hospitalizations and death, underlying health conditions are a part of the story.

He says the number one underlying health condition is still age. And with age, comes chronic, underlying conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or cancer.

But, Dr. Wynne says that’s no reason not to take precautions as a young person. He says it’s estimated that two-thirds of people in the general population, not just those over 65, have some sort of underlying health problem.

“Since I look at the reports from the Department of Health every day, almost every person who has passed away from COVID, they had the phrase ‘with underlying health conditions.’ I mean it was almost the rule. It was very rare when they didn’t include that phrase,” Dr. Wynne added.

Dr. Wynne noted that just because you’re perfectly healthy, doesn’t mean you won’t contract the virus and even fall seriously ill to it. But, it is a lot less likely.

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