Every age group is vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, but some more so than others. Most of us assume that coronavirus symptoms and risk of death go up with age. Unfortunately, more younger people are contracting the virus now. How many of us truly know the risks to younger people and those in between?
If you’re not sure, it’s time to read up on the common (and uncommon) coronavirus symptoms to watch for in your age group, and those of all your loved ones.
8. 60+ Age Group
According to the CDC, older adults in the 60+ age group are at highest risk for coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths. This is because people over 60 with COVID-19 are more likely to suffer severe symptoms like shortness of breath. This can lead to a need for ventilator support in intensive care.
The CDC claims that 80% of coronavirus deaths in the USA are in the 65 and older age group. Even within this group, the risk of severe coronavirus symptoms goes up with age. People 85 or older are at highest risk.
7. 60+ Coronavirus Symptoms
Adults aged 60 and over with coronavirus often deal with atypical symptoms when compared to younger people. They can become very confused and disoriented, feeling strange and not themselves.
They can become fatigued, lose their appetite, and are much more susceptible to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Once a person with COVID-19 develops ARDS, things have become quite serious.
ARDS developed in 84 of 201 coronavirus patients studied in China. These 84 patients were between the ages of 43 and 60. Only half of them survived.
6. 40-59 Age Group
Fortunately, the risk of death does go down a bit for this age group, but some serious symptoms could last beyond coronavirus recovery. Middle aged adults are susceptible to COVID-19 blood clotting, as well as strokes.
This could even be an issue with middle aged adults who are asymptomatic for coronavirus. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed five asymptomatic coronavirus patients in New York City had developed large-vessel strokes. All five were between the ages of 33 and 49.
5. 18-39 Age Group
The higher up you go in this age group, the more you’ll see troubling coronavirus symptoms similar to the age group above, including blood clots and possible strokes. Again, this can happen even with those who contract COVID-19 but are otherwise asymptomatic.
As reported by the New York Times, younger people are currently leading the pack in coronavirus infections. Younger adults tend to have milder symptoms overall, but could be a major threat to public health if not taking precautions to prevent coronavirus spread.
4. 17 and Under Age Group
Children 17 and under with COVID-19 typically have milder symptoms and low risk of death. This is a big relief, but not a guarantee that children can’t become seriously ill with coronavirus.
The CDC warns that although children don’t often have severe symptoms from coronavirus, there’s a threat for related illnesses to develop. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is being studied by the CDC to find out the exact link to COVID-19. For now, this condition involving inflammation of various organs (brain, kidneys, lungs, heart, and more) is a concern for children with novel coronavirus.Related: 15 Subtle Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus
3. 17 and Under Symptoms to Watch For
Children in this age group tend to have mild cold-like symptoms from coronavirus. Those symptoms could include a dry cough, a runny nose or congestion, and a fever.
Children with COVID-19 sometimes also develop “COVID toes.” If a child develops red and swollen toes, which might include red or purple lesions, consult with a doctor. This symptom might be painful or not at all, but could be an indication of coronavirus infection.
2. A Rare Symptom for Children Under 5
Public health organizations like WHO and the CDC are also investigating the link between coronavirus and Kawasaki syndrome. This condition seems to be most common in children, and more often in children under five years old.
Symptoms of Kawasaki syndrome include red and irritated eyes, mouth inflammation, rash, fever, swollen lymph nodes and swollen feet and hands. This rare condition can be very serious, sometimes leading to heart disease.
1. Protect Yourself, No Matter Your Age Group
Whether your age group is at high risk for severe coronavirus symptoms or not, it’s important to protect yourself from infection. Following the CDC guidelines of consistent handwashing, social distancing in public, and wearing a face mask in public will go a long way toward preventing COVID-19 spread.
Other simple ways to avoid coronavirus infection are to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. When you do gather, do so outdoors where there’s lots of ventilation and plenty of space to stay far apart from others around you.Related: 10 Disinfectants That Kill Coronavirus Faster Than Lysol Wipes