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Coronavirus - who is more at risk? Why should people with chronic bronchitis be extra-cautious?

By Shaniqua Williams

Posted on July 24th, 2020

As the spread of the novel coronavirus continues to grow worldwide, halting industries and closing borders, we now have more statistical data regarding this global threat. Further on, we are going to present to you a breakdown of the infection risk according to different demographics.

Certain individuals present a higher risk of developing complications if they catch the novel coronavirus. If you have been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis or other severe respiratory conditions, you represent a risk category and should, therefore, be extra cautious in avoiding the coronavirus. Read on and see what statistics show and how you can reduce your risk of getting infected.

Who is more at risk based on age factors?

The novel coronavirus has more drastic consequences for the elderly. COVID-19, the disease caused by the type of coronavirus we are currently dealing with mostly affects adults. In China, where the outbreak began, 87% of the cases were reported in people aged 30-79.

Contrarily, young people in their 20s only represented 8,1% of cases. The percentage of teenagers/children affected is even lower; 1,2%, respectively 0.9%. Furthermore, reports show that children don't suffer from severe consequences after they contract the virus. The situation is, however, different for the elderly. The death rate in people aged 80 or beyond is 14% according to studies that analyzed the spread and evolution of the pandemic in China. The risk of fatality decreases with age; reaching a value of 8% in people aged 70-79, 3.6% in those who are 60 to 69 years old, 1.3% in people aged 50 and 0.4% in those who are in their 40s.

Are men more prone than women to catch the virus?

It is yet unclear whether the risk of infection is higher in men as opposed to women as both sexes have been affected. However, based on preliminary data, it may be possible to conclude that the spread of the coronavirus is more prevalent among men. The fatality rate is 1.7% in women as opposed to 2.8% in men.

A possible explanation is that people with underlying conditions are more likely to develop complications that could result in death and, within this category of individuals, men represent a higher percentage.

Why are people with respiratory diseases more at risk?

COVID-19 is more severe in patients who already suffer from chronic respiratory disease. An analysis based on 399 patients who caught the coronavirus, showed that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cancer were 79% more likely to be admitted to intensive care or require a respirator. The fatality rate in people who suffer from respiratory disease and contract the virus is 6.3%.

Based on new evidence, it seems that the high death rate in people who already suffer from an underlying condition might be due to the fact that their condition becomes more acute in the presence of the virus. For someone who suffers from chronic bronchitis, the risks associated with the coronavirus are higher because these people already have breathing difficulties. Moreover, the virus itself leads to an infection of the respiratory tract which triggers additional breathing problems. Also, individuals with chronic bronchitis might already have a weak immune system due to their condition and ongoing treatment which increases the chances of developing complications.

If you were exposed to chemicals that lead to a chronic bronchitis diagnosis, you should be even more careful that the regular person and try to prevent a possible coronavirus infection by applying the following measures:

  • Avoid contact with people who are or might be infected with the virus
  • Avoid public places and crowds
  • Don't touch your face after you've been in a public place
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after touching a surface that can carry the virus (such as desks, doors, tables found in public places)
  • Avoid going out too often
  • Take your prescribed medication as necessary

Environmental Litigation Group is here to help

The threat of the novel coronavirus is expected to linger for some time. Therefore, it is important to respect the restrictions imposed by the authorities and, especially if you already suffer from a respiratory disease such as chronic bronchitis, try to limit the actions that might expose you to the virus.Furthermore, if you believe you developed this respiratory condition due to occupational or military asbestos exposure, you should contact us right away. We specialize in personal injury claims related to military and occupational exposure and we can help you recover compensation. A simple call is sufficient so that we can get to know you and learn more about your potential case.