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Coronavirus has been 12 times more deadly for people with underlying conditions, CDC says

Claims about hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19 have gained traction despite a lack of scientific evidence. How did this happen? (Video: The Washington Post)
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People with chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes were hospitalized six times more often than otherwise healthy individuals infected with the coronavirus during the first four months of the pandemic, and they died 12 times more often, according to a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The data are consistent with earlier reports showing the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on people with underlying medical conditions. The report also highlighted the disease’s stark disparities between whites and minority groups.

More than 114,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States, and nearly 2.1 million cases have been reported.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

The latest: The CDC has loosened many of its recommendations for battling the coronavirus, a strategic shift that puts more of the onus on individuals, rather than on schools, businesses and other institutions, to limit viral spread.

Variants: BA.5 is the most recent omicron subvariant, and it’s quickly become the dominant strain in the U.S. Here’s what to know about it, and why vaccines may only offer limited protection.

Vaccines: Vaccines: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 12 and older get an updated coronavirus booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant circulating now. You’re eligible for the shot if it has been at least two months since your initial vaccine or your last booster. An initial vaccine series for children under 5, meanwhile, became available this summer. Here’s what to know about how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections and booster history.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. The omicron variant is behind much of the recent spread.

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