LDH: Info on underlying health conditions of COVID-19 victims

LDH releases information about the underlying conditions that could make people more likely to die from COVID-19

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) says as of March 27, 95% of Louisianans who died from COVID-19 complications had another medical issue, formally called an “underlying health condition."

Using data collected through March 26, LDH detailed what other conditions dead patients suffered from, many of which are common medical problems. Some Louisianans who’ve died suffered from more than one underlying condition.

Above is the latest on underlying conditions among COVID-19 related deaths. Because of the significant increase in deaths since March 26, the below information reflects data from March 26.
Above is the latest on underlying conditions among COVID-19 related deaths. Because of the significant increase in deaths since March 26, the below information reflects data from March 26. (Source: LDH)

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“I think there’s reason for everybody with those conditions to always take control and have the optimal health that they can, but most important right now is to limit access to people who are sick and avoid exposure,” LDH’s Dr. Alex Billioux said Friday.

Billioux says people with health conditions that are not prevalent or that are fairly easy to live with should still be extra cautious, adding that a mild underlying medical condition can be dangerous when combined with COVID-19.

Our Lady of the Lake medical director for emergency medicine, Dr. Mark Laperouse, says patients with an underlying condition have a harder time fighting off viruses for the same reasons a healthy marathon runner has a competitive advantage over a sick runner.

“I don’t think people with these conditions need to be more concerned,” he said. “They just need to be diligent about taking their medication and keeping control of their sugars and blood pressures.”

Laperouse says patients who are not infected with COVID-19 but do have another issue should stay in contact with their doctors and keep track of their condition, looking for dramatic changes.

“Somebody who has those conditions... we want you to take those steps: stay at home, have somebody else do the shopping for you, limit your exposure to people who are sick," Billioux said.

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