The tragedy within a tragedy is unfolding. Studies now show Covid-19 or commonly known as the Coronavirus, is especially dangerous for older adults according to ongoing research
The elderly, especially those with preexisting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease, may be severely affected by the new virus.
As the coronavirus epidemic spread across the U.S. states, experts point out that many people will not have serious symptoms even if they contract the disease. However, the highest death rates are clearly among the Senior population
However, there is one group of people who are at particular risk.
Just like with the seasonal flu, older people, especially those with chronic health conditions, are at higher risk of being affected as COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, spreads.
“Based on all the data we have been receiving so far, it appears that elderly people, especially those with multiple comorbid conditions, are affected more severely,” Dr. Nagendra Gupta, internist at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, told Healthline.
“In a recent study published in JAMA, which is the largest study on COVID-19 published so far, the case fatality rate was close to 15 percent in patients over the age of 80 as against the average overall case fatality rate of 2.3 percent,” he added.
A recent in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that children 10 and under accounted for just 1 percent of all COVID-19 cases, while those between the ages of 30 to 79 make up nearly 90 percent.
The World Health Organization (WHO) found mortality increased with age, with the highest mortality among people over 80 years of age and those with underlying health conditions.
Older people and people with underlying health conditions, like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, were about twice as likely to develop serious outcomes versus otherwise younger, healthier people.”
Messonnier emphasized that older people and those who take medications to manage chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, should ensure they have “adequate supplies” on hand, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. continues to rise.
Older people living in locations that are experiencing sharp increases in coronavirus cases may also need to “think about what actions” they can take to reduce their exposure to COVID-19, cautioned Messonnier in the telebriefing.
This can include strategies such as avoiding large public gatherings, staying home, and avoiding anyone who appears ill.
Social distancing can help people most at risk avoid infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus. Some of the tips the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source, during this health emergency, the public can help in four important ways:
- We should recognize that COVID-19 is a new and concerning disease, but that outbreaks can be managed with the right response, and that most infected people will recover.
- Start adopting and rigorously practicing the most important preventive measures for COVID-19 including frequently washing your hands and always cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
- Keep updated on COVID-19 and its symptoms, like fever and dry cough, because the strategies and response activities will continue to change as we learn more information about the disease.
- Prepare to actively support a response to COVID-19 in ways that include adopting more stringent “social distancing” practices and helping the high-risk elderly population.
COVID-19 will not cause severe symptoms in many younger to moderately-aged people who contract it. However, the elderly, especially those with preexisting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease, may be severely affected and are clearly at the highest risk of mortality from exposure.
We can all do our part to help Senior loved ones within our community stay safe until there is a widely distributed vaccine or some other solution to end the Pandemic. Community outreach organizations such the Forever Home Foundation are here to help Seniors at Risk. Please support these organizations and if you know of anyone who needs assistance staying safe, whether in their homes or living in a care or nursing facility, please reach out for assistance today.