Among the more confusion-riddled aspects of the COVID-19 era are the discrepancies in information the general public has received regarding who, exactly, is being affected the most by the spread. Adding to that, a new report from the CDC aims to provide some detailed context on the current shape of the novel coronavirus here in the States.
While the report cites early data from China that suggests the majority of deaths from COVID-19 occur in adults who are at least 60 years old and/or those with preexisting health conditions, which has been expected, there's a bit more nuance to speak of as one takes a look at the rest of the stats.
Among patients in the U.S. known to have been hospitalized, for example, an estimated 20 percent were between the ages of 20 and 44. That's compared to 9 percent for the those 85 and older, 26 percent for those between 65 and 84 years old, 17 percent for those between 55 and 64, 18 percent for those between 45 and 54. Meanwhile, those 19 years and younger make up less than 1 percent of total hospitalizations.
Since Feb. 12, according to the latest CDC report, 31 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. occurred among those 65 years of age and older. The same group accounts for 45 percent of hospitalizations, 53 percent of ICU admissions, and 80 percent of deaths.
The numbers for those between the ages of 20 and 44 making up as much as 20 percent of known hospitalizations, though certainly not the most comforting thing to read (especially when coupled with more dire wording citing other studies), isn't highlighted in the raw CDC report as much as headlines may have you believe. Still, the CDC continues to call for Americans of all ages and health levels to practice social distancing as much as possible to slow the spread, protect the healthcare system, and potentially protect "vulnerable older adults" from contracting the virus. Older adults are also advised to keep a stock of nonperishable foods and a month's worth of any required medications, as well as to avoid public gatherings and nonessential travel.