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Under the age of 20, people are half as likely to get COVID-19
Scientists have calculated how the incidence of COVID-19 is associated with age. The simulations they conducted also demonstrate the likelihood that people of different ages are likely to develop symptoms of infection.
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People under the age of 20 are about half as likely to get COVID-19 as those who are older. In a new study, which is published in Nature Medicine, scientists assessed how age affects the likelihood of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the appearance of symptoms.
Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine report that understanding the role of age in disease transmission plays a large role in determining what effects to expect from social distancing, as well as predicting the number of cases of disease.
According to the authors of the new study, those infected with SARS-CoV-2 between the ages of 10 and 19 years, symptoms of the disease appear in 21% of cases. By the age of 70 and older, the likelihood of their occurrence increases to 69%.
In children, COVID-19 is recorded much less often than in adults. Scientists point out that this may be due to their lesser predisposition, less frequent manifestation of symptoms in this age group, or a combination of these factors.
Scientists have developed an age-based transmission model of coronavirus based on evidence from 32 locations in six different countries (China, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Canada, South Korea). They also used data from six studies that assessed the relationship of COVID-19 with age. The authors point out that their model makes it possible to simultaneously assess the predisposition to infection and to the appearance of clinical symptoms of the disease.
The study involved simulating the COVID-19 epidemic in 146 capitals around the world. It showed that the number of cases in the absence of a fight against the spread of infection will depend on the average age of the inhabitants. More clinical cases of COVID-19, according to the model, are expected in cities with older populations on average. At the same time, the average number of people infected by one infected person did not significantly depend on the average age of the population.
The authors noted that countries with a younger population (these are predominantly low-income countries) may have lower incidence, but the severity of the disease in them may be influenced by concomitant diseases in residents.