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The number of sufferers and cases of death due to COVID-19 continues to increase every day. Although the Corona virus infects regardless of age, so far it has been recorded that the highest death rate in the world due to COVID-19 occurs in the elderly over 70 years old
COVID-19 is a disease that attacks the respiratory system. Common symptoms of this condition are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In addition, there are also flu-like symptoms, such as runny nose, muscle aches, and sore throat.
This infection can happen to anyone, from babies, children, adults, to people who are elderly. However, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is easier to attack and causes severe symptoms in the elderly (elderly), especially those who are over 70 years old.
Covid-19 Death Rate in Elderly Over 70 Years
Worldwide, it is noted that the case fatality rate (CFR) for people aged 50–69 years is around 0.31–1%. While at the age of 70–79 years, the mortality rate rose to 2.95%, and at the age of 80-89 years, the mortality rate could reach 4.47%.
Based on these data, the mortality rate for the elderly over 70 years due to this pandemic is 2 times higher than the younger age.
In China, the death rate from COVID-19 is 8% for people aged 70 and over and 14.8% for people over 80.This can also be seen in other countries, such as Italy, where the average COVID-19 patient who dies is around 80 years old. In Indonesia alone, the death rate (fatality rate) in the age group above 60 years is around 17%.
The death rate in this age group is indeed the highest compared to other age groups. However, it should be noted that the number of people affected by COVID-19 is actually more than recorded. This can be caused by various things, ranging from the lack of examination tools, inaccurate examination results, to the public's fear of going to the hospital for examination.
Assuming that the number of elderly people suffering from COVID-19 is actually more than recorded, the death rate for the elderly in Indonesia from this disease could be lower than 17%.
Preventing COVID-19 in Elderly Over 70 Years
As mentioned above, COVID-19 can actually attack anyone regardless of age. However, with age, the immune system tends to weaken, so the risk of the elderly getting this disease will be greater.
In addition, the elderly who are infected with the Corona virus are also more prone to experiencing more severe symptoms that can cause death, especially the elderly with comorbidities that can exacerbate COVID-19 symptoms, such as COPD or heart disease. According to research, about 70% of this condition is experienced by the elderly over 70 years.
Therefore, efforts to protect the elderly from COVID-19 need to be more disciplined. Some of the important preventive measures applied to the elderly are:
- Stay at home if there is no urgent need.
- Limit gathering with other people or receiving guests into your home.
- Wash hands regularly.
- Apply physical distancing, even if only at home.
- Manage stress well.
- Consumption of nutritious food.
- Consumption of medicine regularly for the illness.
- Delay visiting the doctor for he alth control, unless the condition worsens. If necessary, do a teleconsultation with a doctor to monitor your he alth condition.
The elderly population, especially those over 70 years old, is the group most vulnerable to COVID-19. A weakened immune system and the presence of chronic diseases can increase the risk of elderly people getting COVID-19 and experiencing more severe symptoms and can be fatal.
If you are over 70 years old or have family at home who are over 70 years old, take the steps to prevent COVID-19 in a disciplined manner as described above. If the elderly are suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms, immediately contact the COVID-19 hotline at 119 Ext. 9 to get further directions.
In addition, you can also take advantage of the online consultation facility in the ALODOKTER application to ask questions about the he alth of the elderly or how to care for the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic.Through this application, you can also make an appointment with a doctor at the hospital if needed.