The novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is now a global pandemic. COVID-19 is a mysterious pneumonia-resembling illness caused by a distinct strain of coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2.
Obesity is a global epidemic of great proportions that leads to 1 in 5 deaths globally. Morbid obesity is linked to a slew of sicknesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease that lowers the quality of life and shortens it.
COVID-19 is a rather unknown pathogen with little scientific data. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that individuals with comorbidities associated with obesity are predisposed to serious Coronavirus infections.
This deadly virus coupled with obesity is like adding fuel to the fire; it is overcrowding hospitals in the United States as well as the rest of the world.
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Obesity Disease and its Related Comorbidities
Obesity-Related Health Conditions and Diseases
Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30, which according to the World Obesity Federation consists of 78 million Americans. Morbid obesity is defined as having a BMI over 40+, which currently affects over 24 million Americans.
Overweight and obese patients often endure the following health problems,
- High Blood Pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Lung Disease
- Heart Disease
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Certain Type of Cancer
- Non-Rheumatoid Arthritis
The prevalence of pulmonary issues is also higher in overweight individuals compared to those who are considered “normal weight.” These problems include asthma, restrictive lung disease, and obstructive sleep apnea.
About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Originally emerged in the city of Wuhan in China, the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus is a highly contagious flu-like disease. Epidemiologists predict that this virus will affect 40% to 70% of the world population and may become one of the deadliest plagues of the 21st century.
COVID-19 spreads efficiently like measles without stopping. Airborne transmission is from person-to-person through close contact. On average, 1 person spreads this virus to 8 people. A subject can also contract COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or their eyes.
Populations with advanced age, weakened immune systems, underlying health issues, and undergoing cancer treatment are more prone to this disease.
Coronavirus-19 Prevention, Contagion, and Symptoms
Symptoms of Coronavirus
COVID-19 causes symptoms that are comparable to the virus that creates Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). According to WHO (World Health Organization), patients reported mild to severe indications,
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms may appear between 2 to 14 days after exposure. Research data shows as many as 20% of those who get infected never develop symptoms. The death rate of this virus is currently recorded at 5.5%, which is significantly lower than SARS and MERS.
Caution and Prevention
As a measure of control and prevention, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that people practice good hygiene,
- Washing hands with soap or water
- Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, like cell phones
At this point, there is not enough testing for the general public and no vaccination or antiviral insight. The only remedy is social distancing, staying-home, and lock-downs.
Obesity is a Risk Factor
Obesity and specifically its related health issues are shown to amplify the impact of Coronavirus. According to a recent study, being overweight has been linked to causing a more severe course for the virus along with a significantly higher mortality rate. The CDC reported that people with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and heart disease are at higher risk of COVID-19 complications and hospitalizations.
Coronavirus impact individuals of all ages with pre-existing medical conditions, such as obesity, 6 times more for hospitalization, and a 12 times more for death.