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If You're This Age, You're at High Risk for COVID

This risk of death for this group is 20%.

When it comes to COVID-19, any person—regardless of gender, skin color, socioeconomic group, or age—can be susceptible to severe infection or even death. However, over the last year it has become increasingly clear that some people are at a higher risk for COVID-19 than others. So, what is the exact age where severe infection is much more likely? F. Perry Wilson, a Yale Medicine physician and clinical researcher and associate professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, reveals the answer to Eat This, Not That! Health. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus


The Older You Are, the Higher the Risk

Home care doctor wearing personal protective equipment(PPE).Infection and cross-contamination during home visit to suspect COVID-19 senior patient

While there is no specific "age group" that is at highest risk, the older you are the higher risk you are, explains Dr. Wilson. "Among those over age 85, the risk of death when infected with COVID-19 is around 20%," he specifies. 

The next highest risk age group is those between 75 and 85, with a fatality rate of about 10%, he says. Keep reading to hear about anyone younger.


No Group is Spared—Young Or Old

Teenage boy sick in bed with Covid-19 symptoms

However, the doctor points out that it is important to note that people of all ages are getting extremely sick and dying as a result of the virus. "Ask any doctor who has taken care of COVID patients like me and we will tell you that no group of people is spared. We have all seen young, healthy people die from this disease. And we've all seen young, healthy people survive but with long-lasting problems," he says. 


Who Is Infecting the High Risk Group?

Group Of Friends Sitting Around Table Having Dinner Party

Dr. Wilson points out that older people are being exposed to COVID-19 without even knowing it. "Asymptomatic people are responsible for about 50% of the spread of COVID-19," he points out. "That means that even if friends/family are feeling well, it does NOT mean they are safe to be in close contact, especially without a good mask."

RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors


There Is Good News for Older People

Nurse checking a vial of medicine.

While many vaccines are less effective for older people than younger ones in preventing infection, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are not only safe, but will significantly decrease risk regardless of age. "The new vaccines appear to be just as effective in older people as younger people," Dr. Wilson explains. "This is great news, since sometimes older people don't have the same immune response to vaccines. That means older people should absolutely get a vaccine as soon as they can."


How to Survive This Pandemic

girl wear medical face mask on sunny city street

As for yourself, follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more