- People over 60 years old are the most vulnerable to COVID-19
- Children are the least affected population but the reason is unclear.
- People with pre-existing health conditions are at risk and should take extra precaution to avoid exposure to COVID-19.
Anyone can catch COVID-19, but who it affects seems to depend on your overall health. A person of any age can have serious symptoms from coronavirus, but mostly the virus puts people with pre-existing health complications and weakened immunity in danger. Unfortunately, our aging population is the most vulnerable to the virus, so while many young healthy people believe there is nothing to worry about, even if COVID-19 doesn’t present with symptoms or with mild symptoms, you can still be a carrier of the virus and pass it on to compromised individuals.
Older Adults Most at Risk
The age group most affected by novel coronavirus are older adults. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), older adults are classified as more than 60 years old. Although they recommend that adults older than 40 years should take precautions as well as the data suggests that the risk heightens with age. Some recommended precautions include staying out of public places when possible, maintaining a distance of one meter from other people, avoid shaking hands, washing hands frequently, disinfecting shared surfaces, and restricting contact with people who have traveled to and from infected areas.
There are still many unknowns about COVID-19 but some details have emerged stating that the disease is not affecting children. So far only 1% of reported cases from China were in children nine-years-old or less, and no deaths were reported. There are many variables as to why lower numbers have been reported in the young age group.
Perhaps they are being protected thus limiting exposure to the virus. The issue though is that children may not be presenting symptoms or only have mild symptoms. These cases may be unreported or under-reported, so they can still be vehicles of transmission. Most children do not practice safe hygiene habits on the best of days, and they share objects that many other children have played with. Therefore, they could be picking up and carrying the disease around with them, passing it on to vulnerable individuals.
While the preliminary data on COVID-19 does not appear to put children into the risk category, it does not mean you should not take precautions to protect your children. The virus could cause potential complications from an unknown medical condition or transmit the disease to vulnerable communities.
People of any age, with heart conditions, asthma, autoimmune diseases, lung disease, and diabetes should be vigilant and if they are in an infected area, and they should stay home as much as possible, limiting contact with those outside. The leading medical advice at this time, advises people not to visit hospitals or long-term care facilities like nursing homes to limit the risk of transmitting the virus to susceptible populations or of exposing yourself to the virus.