A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

Risk for COVID-19 by age

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COVID-19 has affected individuals of all ages across the world. Get info about risk factors for serious COVID-19 illness for each age group.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a relatively new condition that has affected thousands of individuals across the world, but little is known about the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

At any age, those with severe underlying conditions, particularly if not well controlled, are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This includes those with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, with serious heart conditions, receiving cancer treatments and many other conditions.

Below is information about risk factors for serious illness due to COVID-19 for each individual age group.

Adults over age 65

This age group is most at risk for having serious complications from COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eight out of ten deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years old and older.

Higher percentages of individuals over 65 also are at increased risk of being hospitalized and admitted to an intensive care unit due to COVID-19.

People who live in a long-term care facility or nursing home are at an increased risk for getting COVID-19. Those with underlying severe medical conditions are also at increased risk for having severe illness from COVID-19.

Adults

Most adults under 65 years old are not at an increased risk of having serious illness from COVID-19.

However, those adults with underlying severe medical conditions are at increased risk for having severe illness from COVID-19. While it is not currently known if women that are pregnant have an increased risk for getting COVID-19 or having severe illness from COVID-19, the CDC does recommend that women who are pregnant take precautions.

The CDC recommends limited interaction between adults and those outside of the home. Adults can give COVID-19 to other people.

Children

According to the CDC, children do not appear to be at higher risk for serious illness due to COVID-19 than adults. While children can get sick, most of the reported cases have been in adults.

The symptoms for COVID-19 are the same in children as adults, but symptoms are typically milder in children. Children with underlying severe medical conditions are at increased risk for serious illness due to COVID-19.

While children are at a lower risk for serious symptoms, the CDC recommends limited interaction between children and those outside of the home. Children can still give COVID-19 to other adults.

More information about ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself is available here.

Resources

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Marshfield Clinic Coronavirus Updates 

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