People with obesity are at a higher risk of being hit harder by the new coronavirus (Covid-19), said the Federal Public Health Service during the daily press briefing on Wednesday.
“Obesity is certainly a risk factor for being affected more severely by the disease,” said virologist and inter-federal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht, adding that this has been observed both in Belgium and abroad.
“In itself, this is quite logical. The lungs of people with severe obesity usually also function less well, and are therefore more susceptible to developing lung problems,” he said.
Additionally, obesity can also cause more technical problems, such as difficulties with respirators, according to spokesperson Yves Van Laethem.
“Often, they also suffer from high blood pressure and/or diabetes, which can aggravate the course of the infection,” Van Gucht said. “There is definitely a correlation between obesity, certainly morbid obesity, and being more seriously affected by the coronavirus,” he added.
On Wednesday 29 April, Belgium reported a total of 47,859 confirmed cases since the beginning of the epidemic. This reflects all people in Belgium who have been infected, and includes confirmed active cases as well as patients who have since recovered, or died from the consequences of the virus.