Data records and studies have revealed that elderly people are more prone to Coronavirus infections. As the cases are increasing, this data is increasing too. Preliminary estimates suggest that first 17 people who died in China due to Coronavirus, were between 70-75 in age. Moreover, median age of the first 425 infected people was 59.
Underlying conditions contributing to the role:
There are two main reasons for adults’ growing susceptibility to the virus. First, elder ones are more likely to catch these viruses because of body’s inability to cope with and recover from illness. The second deals with how our immune system responds with the changes in age. India’s Health ministry’s data indicates that people already having health conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, high BP or cancer are at a greater risk.
Why younger people get less sick?
Researchers believe that as compared to adults, younger kids have lower amounts of the “ACE2 protein” residing in their upper respiratory tract. ACE2 is a protein used by viruses to break into cells. Another description could have been that younger generation people carry less virus in their bodies which means milder symptoms. Although studies suggest that no matter what age people are in, the viral load is similar. Study shows that severely ill adults have more T cells than younger people, but their role in COVID-19 is still not clear. Researchers are in continuous efforts to figure out if these T cells play a role in protection.
Infection and casualty Data:
So far, data shows the children under the age of 18 years contribute to only 8.5% of cases. In terms of age and Covid-19 fatality risk in India, the risk rises from the age of 45. The percentage of deaths are exceeding the percentage of population corresponding to a particular age-group. At the Press briefing, Union Health Minister official said, “Till now, India’s death toll is at 8,594,698 comprising of 5.83%(501214) active cases among which 92.69% (7963457)patients have been discharged and death rate has come down to 1.48%(127059).”
Age-wise breakup of active cases announced by health ministry yesterday:
Above 60 years- 17% active cases
41-60 years- 33% active cases
21-40 years – 42% active cases
0-20 years – 9% active cases