Do you think you have COVID-19? Here’s what doctors say when to ask for help:

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A medical worker administers a COVID-19 test at a facility in Camden, New Jersey, Wednesday.

Matt Rourke / AP

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Matt Rourke / AP

A medical worker administers a COVID-19 test at a facility in Camden, New Jersey, Wednesday.

Matt Rourke / AP

The new coronavirus kills hundreds of them every day and overwhelms hospitals around the world. But catching the disease does not mean you will end up in the ICU.

“There are a lot of patients who are fine and who are at home,” said Michelle Ng Gong, chief of critical care medicine at the Montefiore Health System in New York. Those who don’t need a hospital are “I dare say, in fact, the vast majority of people,” she says.

Doctors like Gong see dozens of patients walking through their doors every day and have a better idea of ​​those at risk of serious illness. Here are their tips on what to watch out for if you think you or a loved one may have COVID-19.

Know who is at high risk of developing complications

Anyone can be made very sick with coronavirus, but there are risk factors that increase your chances of developing serious disease.

By far the most important factor is age. Data from several countries suggest that hospitalization and death rates are increasing among people over the age of 60. These statistics seem to be confirmed by what Gong sees on the ground in New York. “We have seen time and time again that our elderly patients are in poor health,” she says.

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