Coronavirus hits senior citizens the hardest, says the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The coronavirus is the latest virus scourge hitting the world — and comes from the family of respiratory viruses that includes SARS and MERS. For example, during the SARS outbreak, the overall death rate was over 50 percent for people over the age of fifty. In older seniors, the rate was higher. The common underlying factors were existing chronic illnesses that had already weakened the immune systems.
In fact, your age and your health condition in life will determine your susceptibility. For example, the biggest obstacle to the body’s ability to ward off coronavirus is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ( COPD).
A second factor, is a weakened immune system that comes with advancing age. This leads to the development of various chronic illnesses and inflammation. Hence, viruses can attack without a pushback and cause great damage from which the patient cannot recover.
In the case of COPD, a weak immune system plus inflammation causes significant lung damage that can’t be overcome.
Coronavirus: How It Attacks:
Coronavirus became a global pandemic in early March. It attacks the part of the lungs where gas exchange — the delivery of oxygen to the bloodstream and the removal of carbon dioxide — takes place.
And, as you age, your lungs become less elastic compared to when you were younger. Your airways constrict and your respiratory function decreases.
So, as you hit your 60’s, your risk increases, especially if you suffer from several chronic illnesses — such as obesity, COPD, and high blood pressure.
Wash Your Hands,
As scientists are searching for a cure, U.S. health officials recommend that people practice preventive hygiene measures. These include thorough handwashing with soap and water. Also, keep in mind that the coronavirus can stick to surfaces for up to 3 days — washing your hands with soap is important. Also, keep your distance from other people, the CDC recommends a minimum of 6 feet.
Stay clear of large groups and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Those three areas are entry points for the virus.