New research from Britain showed Tuesday that middle-aged people, not just the elderly, are at risk of death or acute infection with the emerging coronavirus.
These results came after a new comprehensive analysis of HIV cases in China.
Researchers from Britain analyzed more than 3,600 confirmed cases of "Covid 19" in addition to data from hundreds of travelers returning from the Chinese city of Wuhan, from which the disease spread.
They found that age is a major factor in severe disease, as one out of every five people over 80 years of age required hospital treatment, compared to about 1% of people under the age of 30.
Taking into account estimates of the numbers of cases that may not have been confirmed clinically, that is, a slight infection of the virus or their infection without symptoms, the data showed that the percentage of patients who are in the fifties who requested hospital treatment was 8,2%.
The study, published in the "The Lancet" magazine for infectious diseases, estimated that the rate of confirmed cases of the virus in mainland China was 1.38%. If uncertainties are taken into account, the death rate will drop to 0.66%.
Although this percentage is much lower than previous estimates, the researchers said, "Covid 19" is many times more deadly than previous epidemic viruses such as H1N1.
"Our estimates can be applied to any country for decision makers to rely on and adopt the best policies to contain Covid 19," said Azra Ghani, who co-authored the study from Imperial College London.
"There may be cases that have garnered a lot of media attention, but our analysis shows very clearly that patients aged 50 and over were more in need of hospital treatment compared to those under 50 years of age, and the largest proportion of cases is likely To be fatal. ”
The study showed that 18.4% of patients in the eighties were hospitalized in China, while the proportion of those between the ages of 40 and 49 was 4.3%, and those in their twenties were 1%.
According to the comparison process conducted by the study authors, they estimate that between 50 and 80% of the world's population may develop "Covid 19". But these estimates come with many caveats, because the comparison process does not take into account behavioral changes such as hand washing and social divergence.
Dave Sridhar, the professor and head of the Global Public Health Department at the University of Edinburgh's School of Medicine, said it was the assumption that most people would become infected that drove governments, including in Britain, to abandon measures that could help slow the epidemic.
She wrote on Twitter today, Tuesday, that the models "resulted in the UK giving up containment too early, and assuming everyone would get sick."
Therefore, planning and preparation for unprecedented testing were excluded, and the use of big data / applications to track casualties, she said. In my view, we went down the wrong path. ”