Obesity emerging as a major risk factor for COVID-19

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Friday, April 10, 2020
Action News coverage of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- We've long heard that the elderly and those with particular medical conditions are especially at risk with COVID-19.

But another risk factor is emerging - obesity.

In France, a top doctor says the virus is killing young people with no health problems, other than obesity.

And it may be a major factor in high death rates in Southern states.

A Temple Health bariatric surgeon says obese Americans need the same protections from COVID that seniors and others receive.

"We should use all of those same principles for the obese population as well, no matter what the age is, whether they be young, whether they be old," says Dr. Rohit Soans.

Dr. Soans says social distancing, special store hours, and delivery services could be life-savers for these people.