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Home arrow News arrow Covid Poses Special Risks for Black Communities

Covid Poses Special Risks for Black Communities

HealthReporter author Nadzeya Sankovich
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
Last update: October 13, 2023
2 min read 522 Views 0 Comments
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Covid Poses Special Risks for Black Communities

Key Takeaways:

  • Doctors caution that experiencing Covid more than once significantly impacts Black individuals, leading to prolonged illness.
  • The heightened challenges faced by Black communities include increased risks to pre-existing health conditions and limited access to quality healthcare.

According to medical professionals, experiencing Covid multiple times can pose significant challenges for individuals of African descent, resulting in prolonged sickness.

A comprehensive meta-analysis conducted in 2021 revealed that Black individuals diagnosed with Covid were more likely to be admitted to intensive care units, underscoring the severity of the impact within this demographic.

Some of the data clearly showed that Covid impacted Blacks disproportionately, so it only makes sense that it’s going to be the same with multiple infections because there are so many people who had it,” says Dr. Geoffrey Mount Varner, an emergency room physician in Maryland and Virginia. 

He adds that Black people have more comorbidities such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, which are the main drivers regarding negative impact as it relates to Covid: 

With multiple infections the data is showing that each infection is like a health insult that will manifest itself more in the hardest-hit community, which is Black people. So, you have a sick person getting this virus more than once and the outcome is going to be different, more harmful, than white counterparts.”

Dr. Geoffrey Mount Varner, Kirk Weems
Dr. Geoffrey Mount Varner, Kirk Weems

S. Monet Wahls, who faced Covid three times, experienced persistent year-long symptoms, including coughing and respiratory difficulties. He notes that it’s more pronounced in Black communities due to a higher incidence of pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

Dr. Jayne Morgan, an Atlanta-based cardiologist and head of the Covid task force at Piedmont Healthcare, explains the impact of Covid on the African-American community.

Members of this community often reside in areas with limited access to quality healthcare. This compounds the adverse effects of the virus, especially given their lack of health insurance. Similarly, Latinos are also disproportionately affected.

Dr. Morgan emphasizes that repeated Covid contraction among Black individuals increases the likelihood of disabilities, which further compromise their ability to provide for their families.

Dr. Jayne Morgan, Courtesy of Jayne Morgan
Dr. Jayne Morgan, Courtesy of Jayne Morgan

Dr. Geoffrey Mount Varner adds that Black individuals need to be vigilant. He points out that each subsequent Covid infection can worsen existing health issues, particularly in areas with inadequate healthcare resources.

To ensure safety, Dr. Varner recommends consistently using masks, regular handwashing, vaccination, and maintaining overall well-being through a balanced diet and exercise. 

According to experts, Black communities should be cautious and take preventative measures to stay safe from Covid. At the same time, healthcare providers need to improve communication, especially with Black communities, to make sure people know about effective protection.

Sources

  1. Getting Covid several times can have an outsize effect on Black people, doctors say. (2023, October 12). NBC News.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/getting-covid-several-can-outsize-effect-black-people-doctors-say-rcna118400
  2. Magesh, S., John, D., Li, W. T., Li, Y., Mattingly-App, A., Jain, S., Chang, E. Y., & Ongkeko, W. M. (2021). Disparities in COVID-19 Outcomes by Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status: A Systematic-Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA network open, 4(11), e2134147.
    https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.34147
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
Nadzeya Sankovich is the Vice President of Communications at Health Reporter. Previously a professional journalist, she continues to write scientific articles and conduct research. With a background in sociology and medicine, she has worked with various healthcare organizations, from charities to telemedicine platforms.

Nadzeya is also a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a volunteer for a non-profit organization that helps underserved communities. Through her work, she empowers people to take charge of their health and well-being.
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