The UK government has extended their risk warning to pregnant women for the first time, with a comprehensive list published by Public Health England of people ‘at risk’ and at ‘increased risk’.
The full list of those experts consider most at risk of catching and suffering from complications associated with coronavirus.
So far 55 people in the UK have died having suffered from Covid-19 that number is expected to increase in the coming days, weeks and months.
“Previously, advice from the government largely said those who were older, vulnerable and had underlying health conditions were most at risk,” the report said.
“Today, they extended their risk warning to pregnant women for the first time.”
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease,motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
The advice went on to say there were some people who were at an even greater risk of “severe illness” from COVID-19.
People in this category are:
- People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
- People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
- People with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)
The government has advice here on how anyone with concerns who may be at risk should socially distance themselves – and how they can manage while in isolation.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that those in vulnerable groups – including all those over 70 – would be asked to avoid contact by isolating except in very specific circumstances.
Mr Johnson added: “This advice about avoiding all social contact is particularly important for people over 70, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions.”
Public Health England Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty described the new guidance for those more at risk as “absolutely critical”.
Prof Whitty said: “The group of people who we would want to take this advice particularly seriously are older people above 70, people who in adult life would normally be advised to have the flu vaccination.”
“So these are people with chronic diseases such as chronic heart disease or chronic kidney disease, and also – as a precautionary measure because we are early in our understanding and we want to be sure – women who are pregnant.”