Severe at-risk patient urging SWFL residents to stay home during outbreak

Reporter: Veronica Marshall
Published: Updated:
CDC/Center for Disease Control. Photo via WINK News

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows people with underlying conditions are more at risk of needing hospitalization and have more of a chance of ending up in an Intensive Care Unit.

A Lee County woman has been home for the last 19 days to protect herself from the coronavirus.

Kynse Leigh said she isn’t gambling with her health when it comes to the coronavirus.

“Nineteen days ago I was told to distance myself from the outside world,” she said.

Leigh had a double organ transplant, so she isn’t taking any unnecessary risks because she knows she’s vulnerable to the virus.

“Our groceries are being delivered. We disinfect everything before it comes into the house,” Leigh said.

New CDC data shows how at-risk she really is.

The percentage of people with the virus requiring intensive care and hospitalization was higher for patients with underlying health conditions.

People with diabetes aren’t more likely to catch the virus, but Lee Health diabetes coach Annette McClenahan said they are more likely to suffer serious consequences, so prevention is key.

“We have a stress response that occurs with illness and with that stress response, the blood sugars will rise. And when that blood sugar rises, hyperglycemia actually can affect how our immune cells fight infection,” said McClenahan, a certified diabetes educator as well as the Diabetes Outpatient and Diabetes Prevention Program coordinator at Lee Health.

Leigh is asking the entire community to take the threat of the virus seriously.

“It’s affecting everybody. And the more contact you have with more people, the more it’s going to spread. And if you don’t have to leave your home…don’t,” she said.

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