Depression, other mental health issues now considered high risk factors for severe COVID-19

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RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) – People with depression or mental health disorders are at high risk of contracting a severe case of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This new classification also means that anyone with these conditions is also eligible to receive a vaccine booster.

“It seems we are willing to look at mental illness and talk about it in a different light,” said Dr Nerissa Price.

Price is a psychiatrist with WakeMed in Raleigh. She said the links between mental health and physical health have become more apparent since the start of the pandemic.

“Having a mental health problem and having this constant level of stress and stress in our body can really weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to other conditions,” Price said.

Underlying conditions such as kidney disease and heart failure as well as diabetes can be even more complicated if that person is infected with the coronavirus.

Additionally, Price said people with mental health issues may have a longer road to recovery.

“We’ve already seen that people who have had the virus have certain neuropsychiatric complications… brain fog and problems with anxiety and depression because they don’t have a return to normal functioning,” Price said.

That is why the CDC has agreed to include people with mental health issues in the group of people encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster.

“Seeing others and connecting with others to give each other joy, so reminder is not just a way to end this pandemic but a way to improve people’s mental well-being,” said Price.

Studies show that one in five people suffer from mental health problems. When you add these people to other groups, 85% of people across the country are now eligible for a booster injection, if they choose.

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