Aged people vulnerable to COVID-19: DAK

Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Sunday said aged  persons were vulnerable to COVID-19 resulting from Coronavirus.

“If you are old, you are at a higher risk of having severe disease and even death from the novel virus,” said DAK President, Dr Nisar ul Hassan. “The highest death rate was in people over the age of 80. Around 15% people in this age group died from the disease.”

Dr Hassan said people with underlying chronic medical conditions were also vulnerable to the disease. He said while fatality rate in patients with no health conditions was 1.4 percent, it was 13.2 percent for those with heart disease, 9.2 percent for those with diabetes, 8.4 percent  for people with high blood pressure, eight percent for people with chronic lung disease, and 7.6% for those with cancer.

Dr Nisar said elderly and people with medical conditions have weak immune system that promotes viral replication leaving them at a higher risk. “We should be alert for atypical presentations in them,” Dr Hassan said. “Feeling weak or changes in mental status might be the only signs of infection in older people.”

“Older people and those with comorbidities should take extra precautions to prevent the contraction of virus. Apart from maintaining personal hygiene by hand washing, they should try to stay home as much as they can and avoid crowds and nonessential travel,” said Dr Hassan.