CDC: Severe Illness in Adults With COVID-19 Can Occur at Any Age

A patient under respiratory assistance is escorted to the Strasbourg University Hospital by members of the medical staff of the SAMU-SMUR emergency services who wear protective suits and facemasks, in Strasbourg, on March 16, 2020 during a COVID-19 outbreak hitting Europe. – French president will speak on television at 8:00 (Paris time) on March 16, 2020 to announce new measures to fight the growing coronavirus epidemic, said the Elysee. The balance sheet of the epidemic climbed to 127 dead and 5,423 confirmed cases in France. (Photo by Patrick HERTZOG / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP via Getty Images)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released preliminary data related to outcomes among US patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released preliminary data related to outcomes among US patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Cases of COVID-19 between February 12, 2020 and March 16, 2020 were assessed by severity of disease (hospitalization, admission to intensive care unit [ICU], and death) and age from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 US territories. As of March 16, a total of 4226 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported to the CDC, excluding persons repatriated from Wuhan, China and from Japan (including those from cruise ships). Among 2449 patients with known age, 6% were ≥85 years old, 25% were 65-84 years old, 18% each were 55-64 and 45-54 years old, 29% were 20-44 years old, and 5% were 0-19 years old. 

“Among 44 cases with known outcome, 15 (34%) deaths were reported among adults aged ≥85 years, 20 (46%) among adults aged 65-84 years, and nine (20%) among adults aged 20-64 years,” the authors reported. “Case-fatality percentages increased with increasing age, from no deaths reported among persons aged ≤19 years to highest percentages (10%-27%) among adults aged ≥85 years.”

Among the 121 patients admitted to the ICU, 7%, 46%, 36%, and 12% of cases were reported among adults ≥85 years, 65–84 years, 45–64 years, and 20-44 years, respectively; no ICU admissions were noted among patients ≤19 years old. Among the 508 patients with known hospitalization, 9% were ≥85 years, 26% were 65-84 years, 17% were 55-64 years, 18% were 45-54 years, and 20% were 20-44 years.

Several limitations were listed in the report, including initial testing being conducted in patients with travel histories or in persons with more severe disease; this likely resulted in an overestimation of the prevalence of severe disease. In addition, data on underlying conditions, which may increase the risk for complications and severe illness, were not available during the time of the analysis.

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”These findings are similar to data from China, which indicated >80% of deaths occurred among persons aged ≥60 years,” the authors concluded. They added that “These preliminary data also demonstrate that severe illness leading to hospitalization, including ICU admission and death, can occur in adults of any age with COVID-19.”

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This article originally appeared on MPR