The novel coronavirus is extremely fatal for people with weak immune systems and underlying health conditions. According to an estimate, 1.7 billion individuals in the world suffer from a health condition. This highly increases the risk of coronavirus infection in such people.
This study was published in The Lancet Global Health. The study used data from 188 countries in the world. The findings of this study state that 22% of the world population is suffering from one or more underlying health conditions.
This data shows the estimate of people who need special attention from the government. They need extra protection against the virus as they can develop a serious infection. However, not everyone included in this category will develop a serious coronavirus infection. The researchers said that 4% of the population will develop a severe infection. This means that 349 million people out of the 7.8 billion people will need hospital care after infection.
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Dr. Andrew Clark is an Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). He said that most of the countries are now lifting the lockdown. There is still a prevalence of the coronavirus and authorities are trying to protect the people with high-risk of coronavirus infection.
He also said that this data will help people with underlying health conditions. The governments are advised to vaccinate them at priority basis when a vaccine is available. Also, they should strictly follow the preventive measures and social distancing guidelines.
The major risk factors for a serious coronavirus infection include several health conditions. These diseases are listed by health experts from the US and the UK. The WHO also published preventive guidelines for people with these conditions. Some of the major diseases include cardiovascular diseases, respiratory infections, prolonged kidney disease, and diabetes.
The authors of the study included the major underlying health conditions in this research. There are other contributing factors to coronavirus infection including ethnic background socio-economic situation of the people. These are also major factors for the risk of coronavirus infection besides other health conditions.
The researchers collected the data of people who do not have any underlying health condition but they have a risk of severe coronavirus infection. This includes the people who need a hospital facility upon infection.
The findings of this study suggest that populations of younger individuals have a low number of people with health conditions. Compared to those, populations with more older people have a larger number of people with underlying health conditions.
The data show that 5% of the world population includes younger people with at least one health condition. While nearly 66% of the world population constitutes of older people who have an underlying health condition. These conditions can significantly increase the risk of coronavirus infection.
The researchers also collected the data of the working class which includes people aged between 15 to 64 years. According to the estimate, 23% of this population can develop a serious COVID infection due to their underlying health condition.
In people aged less than 65, men are at twice the higher risk of serious infection as compared to women. However, in older people, the risk of coronavirus infection is greater than men. This is due to the reason that women usually live longer than men.
These estimates can help governments protect the more vulnerable population of people. It can also help to contain the outbreak and reduce the risk of coronavirus infection in these individuals.