What You Need to Know About the Effects of Coronavirus on the Older Population

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. due to COVID-19 have been in adults 65 years old and older. This brings attention to a trend that’s been ongoing since the virus emerged in Wuhan, China. Adults ages 60 and older, especially those with preexisting conditions, seem to be at the highest risk for severe complications and death due to COVID-19 infection.

The reasons for this are various, but medical professionals and scientists believe that perhaps the biggest culprit for this trend is that older adults have weaker immune systems than older adults and kids. With weaker immune systems, older adults are more vulnerable to becoming extremely ill when infected with the virus.

The risks only advance with age. A study from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 21.9% of deaths due to the novel coronavirus were in patients ages 80 years old and older.

For the majority of people, COVID-19 will only produce mild or moderate symptoms. Typically, infants, children, and young adults fare far better than older adults. Still, anyone who is immunocompromised, or anyone who suffers from any underlying or chronic medical condition, is at a higher risk of experiencing severe complications if they become ill with the novel coronavirus.

Older adults are being warned to heed all warnings from local authorities and to take extra precautions to avoid becoming infected. For instance, precautions that older people can take to avoid exposure to COVID-19 include staying home; washing their hands often; avoid close contact with others, especially those who are sick; avoid travel; disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs and handles; contact their physicians or healthcare providers with any questions or concerns.

Those with underlying conditions can take control by ensuring that they are staying as healthy as possible. Taking regular medications is important, as well as ensuring regular exercise and a healthy diet. Before beginning anything new, people should consult with their physician for guidance.

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