The new coronavirus, named COVID-19, has sickened more than 43,100 people worldwide, but very few children appear to be among the confirmed cases.
About 80% of people who died from the virus in China were over the age of 60, and 75% had pre-existing conditions, according to a recent report from China’s National Health Commission.
A small study published Jan. 30 in the medical journal The Lancet found the average age of patients was roughly 55 years old.
he new coronavirus that has already killed more people than the 2003 SARS epidemic appears to be sparing one population group: kids.
Of the more than 43,100 people it’s infected since Dec. 31, World Health Organization officials say the majority are over 40 years old and it’s hitting those with underlying health conditions and the elderly particularly hard.
“Increasing age increases the risk for death,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said Thursday at a news conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. “It appears even over 80 is the highest risk factor.”
Fortunately for many worried parents, there appear to be few confirmed cases of the virus among children so far. Officials caution that the virus is so new, there is still a lot that they don’t know about it and the data they are seeing today will likely look different a month from now.
About 80% of people who died from the virus in China were over the age of 60, and 75% had pre-existing conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, according to a recent report from China’s National Health Commission. A small study published Jan 30 in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet found that the average age of coronavirus patients was roughly 55 years old. The study looked at 99 patients at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, China, from Jan. 1 to Jan. 20.
Last week, Singapore confirmed a case in a 6-month-old baby whose parents were also both infected, and an infant in China was born Feb. 2 with the virus. The baby’s mother also tested positive. But infections in children appear to rare for now, according to a Feb. 5 study in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association.
Symptoms can include a sore throat, runny nose, fever or pneumonia and can progress to multi-organ failure or even death in some cases, world health officials say.