There are no signals yet that young and middle-aged people belonging to a risk group are at a significantly greater risk of becoming seriously ill and dying from the coronavirus, compared to healthy individuals.
Instead, it seems to be very linked to age.
It has been found that the risk of dying from the new coronavirus is 3.4 percent. That is to say, significantly higher than the risk of regular seasonal flu. The two diseases are comparable in terms of the risk of becoming seriously ill and dying.
This figure will go up and down depending on the group of people you study until we get large population studies and we get a population figure. Then I am absolutely convinced that this risk will be reduced.
Italy is a country that has reported a relatively high mortality rate. But that’s where the virus has come in and spread in health care. All people who have died in Italy are over 65.
In the past, people with an underlying disease – such as diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular disease – have been identified as a particularly vulnerable group for the new virus. We get a lot of emails from worried people, but you have to be very careful about making this connection. So far, there are no signals that young and middle-aged people belonging to a risk group are at greater risk of suffering from serious illness and dying, compared to others.
Yes, but the link to age was much stronger. To know what it looks like for risk groups, they would have had to dive in more detail, which they did not do. In general, we know very little about risk groups. Furthermore, we do not know what the group that suffered from a severe illness in the Chinese study looked like.
It is clear that the elderly are at greater risk of being affected, but we do not know how many smokers there were, or how well-treated their other diseases, such as diabetes, were. In the Chinese study, the risk of dying with increasing age increased, but a 75-year-old in China may correspond to an 80-year-old here, regarding the life one lived and health in general.