Doctors: Smokers more at risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — There are many vulnerable populations at risk of contracting COVID-19. However, doctors warn one population could experience severe symptoms.

Dr. Zonaira Gul, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Beckley ARH, said more research has come out saying smokers are at risk of experiencing complications from the virus. She said smokers who catch COVID-19 can develop other infections, or severe long term side effects from the virus.

“Smokers are generally at a higher risk of getting respiratory illnesses. And in smokers we do worry about COPD or chronic lung disease, that’s another immunocompromised state,” Gul said.

Dr. Gul also said if a smoker has COVID-19, it’s harder for the doctors to treat them. Some of their methods won’t work as well on patients who smoke.

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