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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Nearly 6% of reported U.S. patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus also had underlying health conditions, which typically led to more hospitalizations and the need for intensive care, according to new data out Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: Based on preliminary U.S. data, people with underlying conditions such as diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease and cardiovascular disease appear to be at higher risk for severe COVID-19–associated disease than those without these underlying conditions.

Data collected from 122,653 people show 7,162 patients had one or more underlying health conditions or risk factors.

  • Researchers still do not know if patients who have acute health conditions are at greater risk for more severe symptoms associated with COVID-19.

By the numbers: Many of these health conditions are common in the U.S., based on 2017 and 2018 data from the CDC.

  • Nearly 11% of American adults self-reported they had diabetes.
  • More than 10% of adults also reported having heart disease, excluding hypertension.
  • About 8% of adults said they had asthma.

The bottom line: People with underlying health conditions who are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus including fever, cough or shortness of breath should immediately contact their health care provider.

Methodology: Data from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to CDC from 50 states, four U.S. territories and affiliated islands, the District of Columbia, and New York City with February 12–March 28 onset dates were analyzed.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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