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Older people with underlying issues more susceptible to die from virus

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Scientists have identified old age, showing signs of sepsis and having blood clotting issues when admitted in hospital as risk factors associated with higher risk of death from coronavirus (COVID-19).

A new observational study of 191 patients with confirmed COVID-19 from two hospitals in Wuhan, China, published in The Lancet, confirmed that being an older person, having a high Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, and having d-dimer greater than 1μg/L could help clinicians to identify patients with poor prognosis at an early stage.

The new study is the first time researchers have examined risk factors associated with severe disease and death in hospitalised adults, who have either died or been discharged from hospitals.

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It explained that of 191 patients, 137 were discharged, while 54 died in hospital even as the authors noted that interpretation of their findings might be limited by the study’s sample size.

Also, the authors presented new data on viral shedding, which indicate that the median duration of viral shedding was 20 days in survivors (ranging from eight to 37 days) and that the virus was detectable until death in the 54 non-survivors.

However, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), yesterday issued new guidance to help protect children and schools from transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

The guidance provides critical considerations and practical checklists to keep schools safe and also advised national and local authorities to adapt and implement emergency plans for educational facilities.

Published by the WHO, the guidance stated that in the event of school closures, it should include recommendations to mitigate possible negative impacts on children’s learning and wellbeing.

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