Infectious Diseases

According to the CDC, you have a less than 1% chance of dying of COVID-19 in the U.S. if you contract it and you’re 54 years or younger, and less than 3% if you’re younger than 84.

Posted on 22 March 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States analyzed data on the first significant wave of coronavirus infections. As of the 16th of March, a total of 4,226 COVID-19 cases had been reported, and among those patients only 2,449 patients reported their age. These cases did not include imported cases, such as people sick with COVID-19 who had returned to the country from trips in China or Japan.

According to the CDC, the age distribution of these domestic infections with the new coronavirus looks as following:

  • 6% were 85 and older
  • 25% were between 65 and 84
  • 18% were aged 55 to 64
  • 18% were aged 45 to 54
  • 29% were aged 20 to 44
  • only 5% were aged 19 and younger

508 patients (12% of the total number) required hospitalisation, and their age distribution looks as the following:

  • 9% were 85 years old or older
  • 26% were between 65 and 84 years old
  • 17% were between 55 and 64 years old
  • 18% were between 44 and 54 years old
  • 20% were between 20 and 44 years old
  • Less 1% were 19 years old or younger

In addition, 121 patients needed to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). 50% were under the age of 65, while 12% were aged 20-44. No intensive care admissions or deaths were reported among those aged 19 or younger (see figure below)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalizations,* intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and deaths,§ by age group — United States, February 12– March 16, 2020

The CDC’s data about number of deaths among various age groups is similar to the data reported by China. In China, as is the case in the US, older populations are most at risk with approximate 15% of people aged 80 or older dying. Whiles less than 1% of people under the age of 50 died from COVID-19 (see figure below).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) mortality by age-group in China. Source: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus#case-fatality-rate-of-covid-19-by-age

References

Severe Outcomes Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) — United States, February 12–March 16, 2020 - https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e2.htm

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus#case-fatality-rate-of-covid-19-by-age

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