Advice for people at risk of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Some people are at greater risk of more serious illness with COVID-19. Read our advice on how to protect those most at risk in our community.

Chronic conditions that increase the risk of serious illness from COVID-19

The following chronic conditions are of concern in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 50 years and vulnerable workers over 65 years:

  • Chronic renal failure
  • Coronary heart disease or congestive cardiac failure
  • Chronic lung disease (severe asthma (for which frequent medical consultations or the use of multiple medications is required), cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic emphysema)
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Poorly controlled hypertension

People at any age with significant immunosuppression, as defined as:

  • Haematologic neoplasms: leukemias, lymphomas, myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Post-transplant: solid organ (on immunosuppressive therapy), haematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 24 months or on treatment for GVHD)
  • Immunocompromised due to primary or acquired immunodeficiency (including HIV infection)
  • Current chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • High-dose corticosteroids (≥20 mg of prednisone per day, or equivalent) for ≥14 days
  • All biologics and most disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) as defined as follows:
    • Azathioprine >3.0 mg/kg/day
    • 6-Mercaptopurine >1.5 mg/kg/day
    • Methotrexate >0.4 mg/kg/week
    • Prednisone >20 mg/day. If <14 days treatment, can resume work when treatment ceased
    • Tacrolimus (any dose)
    • Cyclosporine (any dose)
    • Cyclophosphamide (any dose)
    • Mycophenolate (any dose)
    • Combination (multiple) DMARDs irrespective of dose
Last updated: 
1 April 2020

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