Covid Is Deadly for the Older Crowd

In the US, people 65 and older account for:

Implications:

Older people aren’t necessarily more vulnerable to infection. Granted, the 65+ crowd constitutes a somewhat disproportionate share of the case count. Recall though that the official case counts are based on positive diagnostic test results, and testing has typically been reserved for patients experiencing relatively severe symptoms. Given that older people comprise such a large proportion of fatalities, and death is almost always preceded by severe symptoms, it’s surprising that the older cohort doesn’t make up an even larger proportion of the test-positive counts.

Older people aren’t necessarily more vulnerable to mass contagion in hot spots. Nursing homes have accounted for around 40 percent of covid deaths. Again though, older people aren’t catching the virus at a higher rate than are younger people. So while nursing homes are potential hot spots targeting the elderly, younger people are more likely to be exposed to hot spots on the job, at the shops, at the bars…

Older people who’ve gotten infected are far more likely to die. Younger people who get sick enough to be tested nearly always survive. Not so with the older people, whose percentage of the death count has hovered around 80 percent since the beginning of the epidemic.

An older person who tests positive is 25 times as likely to die of the virus as is a younger person.

 

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