General, Research, Technology

Children and youth at risk: coronavirus not only kills older people

The latest news about the situation with coronavirus is notcomforting: as of March 20, Italy had become the leader in the number of deaths due to the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. In just one day, March 19, 2020, the country lost almost 500 people, which exceeded the number of deaths from the virus in China. Initial evidence suggests that coronavirus is the most dangerous for people over 60, but the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that no one is safe. All over the world, young people enter intensive care units. Of course, most serious cases are observed in older people and people with chronic diseases and weakened immunity, but recently it became known: children and young people are also at risk.

Scientists warn: young people also die from coronavirus


  • 1 Nobody is safe: coronavirus is dangerous for everyone
  • 2 Who is at risk? Statistics of different countries
  • 3 Is coronavirus dangerous for children?
  • 4 Scientists called the effects of coronavirus

No one is safe: coronavirus is dangerous for everyone

WHO experts warn - zero risk withCoVID-19 does not exist. While universally emphasizing the importance of protecting vulnerable populations - older people and / or those with previous pathologies - it is overlooked that a new coronavirus can affect anyone and that, although this is unlikely, young and healthy people can also be in intensive care and die . So, the Spanish El Pais tells the story of a 37 year old young man with good health. The man almost never was ill, but after infection with CoVID-19 he was hospitalized, where he soon died. On the same day, WHO Executive Director Michael J. Ryan warned:

We must be very careful when affirmingthat the virus kills only the elderly. Young people are indeed less likely to develop a serious illness, but there are also a significant number of young people who have died.

But why do healthy young people die because ofcoronavirus? According to experts, there are several reasons for this: a genetic predisposition, some weakness of the immune system, which in other circumstances would go unnoticed, as well as undetected pathologies. As the virologist and director of preventive medicine and public health at the University of Burgos, Juan Aiglion, told reporters that the first thing we should worry about is the likelihood of getting sick.

Doctors, almost regardless of age, are at risk, as they come into contact with a large number of infected

Even if your chances of getting infected are low, then fora huge number of people are likely to get CoVID-19 like a lottery - someone will definitely get sick. Despite the fact that scientists still do not know all the risk factors associated with this, it is already clear today that age is a very important criterion, as well as the general state of health.

Who is at risk? Statistics of different countries

According to the results of the study,published in The Lancet, the average age of deaths due to an outbreak of a new coronavirus was 81 years. Of these, two thirds were sick with diabetes, cancer and had cardiovascular disease. Also at risk were current and former smokers. 14.1% of people over 90 years old; 42.2% aged 80 to 89 years; 32.4% aged 70 to 79 years; 8.4% aged 60 to 69 years; 2.8% aged 50 to 59 years. The correlation between confirmed CoVID-19 cases and mortality is a maximum of 20% for people over 90 years of age (see graph below). However, this figure is probably higher than the real one, since it does not take into account the asymptomatic course of the disease, as well as undetected cases.

Mortality rate in Italy. Data as a percentage of the total number of infected confirmed.

In Italy, people aged 30 to 50the mortality rate is 0.1%. Among them, the vast majority are people with pathologies. In fact, a recently published study showed that more than 99% of the total number of deaths had health problems. But, no matter how small the chances are for healthy people, they are. This confirms the death of a large number of doctors in China. Researchers suggest that a possible reason is that doctors came into contact with a large number of infected people and were exposed to a very high viral load. The viral load can be compared with poisoning - you will notice the difference if you ate one spoiled hamburger or four.

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Is coronavirus dangerous for children?

Recently, we talked about what childrenthe disease is mild. However, preliminary findings from a study on juvenile infection add more information. Thus, mortality under the age of nine is still not known, but serious cases have already been reported. In the course of the work, scientists analyzed 2143 cases of infection under the age of 18 in China. In 4%, the disease was asymptomatic; about half had mild symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, sometimes nausea or diarrhea. More than a third of those infected experienced mild symptoms.

Unfortunately, children are also at risk.

Finally, in 125 children - almost 6%, the condition was serious. In an interview with The New York Times, lead author Shilu Tong said:

This suggests that hospitals should be prepared to receive small patients, because we cannot completely exclude children.

Scientists called the effects of coronavirus

Looking at daily increasing numbershealed, we are definitely relieved. However, to date, some recovering patients have side health problems. Among them:

  • impaired lung function
  • choking while walking fast

In some patients who have had a newcoronavirus, a decrease in lung function by 20% -30%. And although the conclusion is based on a group of only 12 recovered patients, it definitely deserves close attention and subsequent monitoring by specialists.

In France, health authorities are increasinglywarn that the epidemic of coronavirus is “accelerating”, and the number of cases among people under the age of 65 is increasing. So, of 175 deaths since the beginning of the epidemic in France, 7% are under 65 years old. Among those who entered the intensive care unit, 50% were under the age of 60 and 50% were over the age of 60. The reasons are still unknown and it is too early to draw conclusions. Well, you and I can only hope that the situation will not worsen. Above all, follow WHO recommendations. Be healthy!