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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its warnings Thursday to include more demographic groups at risk for the coronavirus such as younger people who are obese and who have underlying health problems.

Why it matters: The shift reflects what states and hospitals have been seeing since the pandemic began, which is that young people can get seriously ill from COVID-19. Much of the directive was focused on those with preexisting conditions and individuals who are 65 or older.

What's happening: Based on several recent studies and reports, the CDC has placed more attention on populations at risk with a number of health conditions:

  • Age: The agency warns that among adults, risk of COVID-19 increases steadily as you age, not just those over 65.
  • Obesity: Those who have a body mass index of 30 or higher. The original warning was for people with a BMI of 40 or more.
  • Pregnancy: Being pregnant may increase one's risk of being hospitalized and having severe illness. In the study, more than 8,000 pregnant women were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Thursday's guidance also categorizes medical conditions that can affect the severity of illness:

  • Conditions that increase risk: Chronic kidney disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; obesity; weakened immune system from solid organ transplant; serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies; sickle cell disease; Type 2 diabetes.
  • Conditions that may increase risk: Chronic lung diseases, including moderate to severe asthma and cystic fibrosis; high blood pressure; a weakened immune system; neurologic conditions, such as dementia or history of stroke; liver disease; pregnancy.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Trump's physician details president's COVID-19 treatment

President Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

White House physician Sean Conley issued a statement Friday detailing the type of coronavirus test that President Trump took before receiving a positive result, as well as his current COVID-19 treatment.

Why it matters: Trump, who is reportedly experiencing "mild" symptoms, is at higher risk for a severe COVID-19 infection due to his age and body mass index.

Biden says he received two COVID-19 tests before visiting Michigan

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Image

Joe Biden said he received two COVID-19 tests on Friday after news that President Trump and the First Lady have tested positive for the virus, and the former vice president's team cancelled one of its previously planned events for safety concerns.

Driving the news: "We wanted to make sure that we're doing everything by the numbers," Biden said during remarks on the economy in Grand Rapids, Mich. "And so I got to two COVID tests this morning. One in Delaware and one by the former White House doc who came up. Everything is clear, we wanted to make sure everything was cleared before I came."