Since the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in Wuhan, China in late December, medical experts have been attempting to decode the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus. One of the most curious aspects of it, is that it has the ability to completely ravage the bodies of some individuals, while others who are infected experience no symptoms at all.
In an attempt to better understand coronavirus, experts have been compiling data over the last several months. This week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled comprehensive data detailing exactly who is getting the virus — as well as who is most likely to die from it.
In summary, older people, minorities, and those with preexisting health conditions are the most likely to die from COVID-19, according to the CDC.
“Surveillance at all levels of government, and its continued modernization, is critical for monitoring COVID-19 trends and identifying groups at risk for infection and severe outcomes,” the CDC explains. “These findings highlight the continued need for community mitigation strategies, especially for vulnerable populations, to slow COVID-19 transmission.”
In total, between January 22 (when the first US case was confirmed) and May 30 there have been 1,761,503 COVID-19 cases and 103,700 related deaths domestically. Of the total cases, 184,673 (14%) patients were hospitalized, 29,837 (2%) were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and 71,116 (5%) died.
Those with underlying conditions — the most common being cardiovascular disease (32%), diabetes (30%) and chronic lung disease (18%) — were overwhelmingly more likely to suffer serious illness, as they were six times more likely to be hospitalized and 12 times more likely to die.
While men and women were equally as likely to get infected with coronavirus, with an incidence rate of 403.6 cases per 100,000 — men were more prone to severe illness. 16% of men were hospitalized compared to 12% of women. Additionally, 3% of men were admitted to the ICU and 6% died compared to just 2% and 5%, respectively, of women.
Age was obviously a factor as well, with a higher incidence for people over 80 and the lowest being the age group of 9 and below. However, interestingly enough, the incidence rate was higher in the groups of adults aged 40-49 years and 50-59 years than those in the age groups 60-69 years and 70-79 years.
Race and ethnicity was also a major factor, with minorities being impacted by the pandemic at an alarming rate. According to their data, 33% were Hispanic, 22% were black, and 1.3% were American Indian or Alaska Native — meaning that over 56 percent were minorities. The CDC points out that “persons in these groups” account for 18%, 13%, and 0.7% of the U.S. population, respectively, meaning they are “disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be severe, particularly in certain population groups,” the CDC writes. “These preliminary findings underscore the need to build on current efforts to collect and analyze case data, especially among those with underlying health conditions.”
As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.