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Reasons Why the Elderly More Vulnerable to Coronavirus

The number of patients and cases of death due to Coronavirus infection every day continues to increase. So far, the Coronavirus is seen to cause more severe infections and death in the elderly than adults or children. Why is that?

Until now, the Coronavirus has infected more than 100,000 of the world's population and around 4,000 people have been declared dead. Most deaths occur in patients with COVID-19 aged 80 years and over, with a percentage reaching 21.9%.

Why Are Elders More Vulnerable to Corona Virus?

As you age, your body will experience various decreases due to the aging process, from decreasing the production of hair color pigments, the production of skin elasticity hormones, muscle mass, bone density, tooth strength, to the function of body organs.

The immune system as a body protector does not work as strong as when it was young. This is the reason why elderly people are vulnerable to various diseases, including COVID-19 caused by Coronavirus.

Also, not a few elderly who have chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, or cancer. This can increase the risk or danger of Coronavirus infection. Complications arising from COVID-19 will also be more severe if the sufferer already has these diseases.

Not only cause interference with the lungs, but Coronavirus infection can also reduce the function of other body organs, so that chronic disease conditions that are already owned by patients will get worse, even to the point of death.

In cancer sufferers, for example. Cancer itself can weaken the immune system so that sufferers are unable to ward off the Coronavirus attack, plus the side effects of chemotherapy which can also suppress the immune system. In these circumstances, the Coronavirus will more easily develop and cause interference with various organs of the body.

there are sufferers of heart failure, where the heart has experienced exhaustion in pumping blood, lung disorders due to Coronavirus infection will make the heart have to work harder to drain blood throughout the body. This certainly can worsen the condition of the heart.

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The following mortality rates due to corona by age category:

Covid-19 Mortality

as of February 2020

Death Rate in Men Due to Corona

Although the number of patients infected with Covid-19 between men and women is about the same, the mortality rate due to Covid-19 in men is 2.8% and in women is 1.7%. Analysis from the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based on patient medical record data.

Some researchers told The New York Times that there was a tendency for men to be more vulnerable to respiratory infections than women.

"We see this tendency towards other viruses. Women can fight viruses better, "said Sabra Klein, a scientist who studies sex differences in viral infections from Johns Hopkins University.

Other experts say women have a stronger immune response after vaccination and improve the memory of the immune response that will protect adults from diseases they have faced when they were children.

Read AlsoBeware of Coronavirus, This is the First Aid to Overcome It

How to Prevent Coronavirus Transmission in the Elderly

Coronavirus was originally transmitted from animals to humans. This virus can also be transmitted from human to human by sprinkling the saliva of the sufferer.

Several steps can be done by the elderly to protect themselves from the transmission of this epidemic virus, including:

  • Wash your hands regularly with running water and soap or hand sanitizers with a minimum alcohol content of 60%
  • Wear a mask when you are sick
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Avoid going to crowded places, such as shopping centers, terminals or stations
  • Don't touch the eyes, nose, and mouth before washing hands
  • Consuming drugs regularly for the illness
  • Visiting a doctor for control on a schedule

A weakened immune system plus a chronic disease can increase the risk of COVID-19 in the elderly, both the risk of Coronavirus infection and the risk of this virus to cause severe disruption, even death.

Therefore, prevention of the Coronavirus in the elderly needs to be done more stringently and the health condition of the elderly also needs to be given more attention. Elderly people who experience a fever with a cough, runny nose or shortness of breath need to be immediately consulted by a doctor, especially if you already have a chronic disease.



  1. World Health Organization (2020). Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Advice for The Public: Myth Busters.
  2. American Heart Association (2020). What Heart Patients Should Know About Coronavirus.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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