Elderly People During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Epidemic: Selected Problems

Małgorzata Schlegel-Zawadzka*

Elderly People During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Epidemic: Selected Problems.

European Geriatric Medicine Society signed on March 23rd, 2020, a special statement on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic. Society informs that analysis showed that mortality rates are about 15% in contaminated subjects over 80-years, whereas it is less than 0.5% in people below 50-years-old. It also draws attention that “… Advanced age should not by itself be a
criterion for excluding patients from specialized hospital units…”. It also stresses the need for rapid rehabilitation of people who are not carriers of the virus.

Globally as of 3.59 pm CEST, 12 September 2020, there have been 28,329,790 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 911,877 deaths reported to World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization. Most common symptoms are fever, dry cough and tiredness. Aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste and smell, a rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes are considered to be fewer common symptoms. Serious symptoms are difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure and loss speech or movement.

An important factor in any disease is the problem of the patient’s nutritional status, especially when he or she is older. Malnutrition is three times more likely to cause the risk of infection and prolong patients’ stay in a hospital. Food insecurity and lack of physical activity along with malnutrition seem to be particularly important considerations for elderly patients with COVID-19.

Public Health Open J. 2020; 5(3): 68-72. doi: 10.17140/PHOJ-5-150