OLDER people with chronic health conditions have a greater chance of dying if they contract the coronavirus, NSW GP Dr Ross Wilson says.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected more than 92,800 people globally and killed more than 3100.
At 8am Thursday, there had been two deaths recorded in Australia.
"Older people and people with multiple diseases like heart disease, lung, kidney, diabetes or immune disease problems are more at risk," Dr Wilson said.
"The greatest fatality rate is for people aged over 80."
"While patients who reported no comorbid conditions had a case fatality rate of 0.9 per cent, patients with comorbid conditions had much higher rates, including: 10.5 per cent for those with cardiovascular disease, 7.3 per cent for diabetes, 6.3 per cent for chronic respiratory disease, 6.0 per cent for hypertension, and 5.6 per cent for cancer," the report stated.
The report also showed that for those aged 80 years or older, the risk of dying if infected by coronavirus is 14.8 per cent.
For those aged 70-79 years it falls to 8.0 per cent, while for people aged 60-69 it drops to 3.6 per cent.
The same report showed no children aged under 10 had died from coronavirus.
Dr Wilson said if a healthy person under 50 contracts coronavirus that symptoms can range from "asymptomatic where there's nothing to complain about to a cold or pneumonia".
"It's not to say you won't die, it's just that your chances are much less likely," he said.
He said on average each person with coronavirus infects three other people (1:3), by comparison SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) was initially 1:2.9 but quickly dropped, while MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) was 1:1.
Geography is of some benefit to residents in Western NSW, Dr Wilson said.
"Because we have a population that's more spread out we're more immune from it, but we still gather in places and send kids to schools and go to shopping centres," he said.
Good hand hygiene is vital at this time and Dr Wilson said antibacterial soap or washes were not needed and that everyday soap used correctly was sufficient.