Coronavirus, COVID-19: At risk age groups revealed

GLOBAL CONCERN: Certain people and age groups are more at risk of coronavirus, a Central West GP says. Photo: FILE
GLOBAL CONCERN: Certain people and age groups are more at risk of coronavirus, a Central West GP says. Photo: FILE

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."

His claims are backed up by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control report released on February 11 which was based on the 72,314 confirmed cases in China.

"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.

GLOBAL CONCERN: Bathurst GP Dr Ross Wilson said certain people and age groups are more at risk of coronavirus. Photo: FILE

GLOBAL CONCERN: Bathurst GP Dr Ross Wilson said certain people and age groups are more at risk of coronavirus. Photo: FILE

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.

There were less than 10,000 cases of SARS and around 2000 of MERS.

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.

This story The age groups more at risk of contracting coronavirus first appeared on Western Advocate.