Coronavirus Risk Group: Higher Corona Risk? That’s what doctors and RKI say


  • Almost four months have passed since the outbreak of the novel corona virus in China: over 430,000 people have now been infected worldwide – almost 20,000 have died
  • There are over 34,000 coronavirus cases and more than 170 fatalities in Germany
  • The search for a vaccine or medication is in full swing, but it will still take a few months until adequate funds are available
  • Many states have tightened their baseline and shut down public life to slow the spread of the virus and protect the elderly
  • According to the medical experts and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), older people and those with previous illnesses belong to the coronavirus risk groups
  • What does all this mean exactly? What factors increase the risk? And how vulnerable are children? We clarify

Mild, often no symptoms are when infected with the new virus Sars-CoV-2 the normal case. Scientists emphasize that 80 percent of infections are harmless. Remain 20 percent with lung disease Covid-19 difficult or even fatal. Who exactly is part of this risk group is one of the many details that are currently still being researched.

However, according to current knowledge, it seems to be similar to other infectious diseases: Anyone who is already weakened will not easily be able to cope with an infection with the new coronavirus. Smokers also seem to be more at risk. We provide answers to the most important questions:

Corona virus: Who can the pathogen be particularly dangerous according to the current status?

Basically, the older people are, the more difficult the courses are on average. That shows data from China and that says professor Uwe Liebert, Director of Virology at Leipzig University Hospital: “People aged 70 and above are particularly at risk of developing a severe course.” According to Chinese data, people aged 60 and over are already at risk. Most Deaths there were over 80s in China.

In the elderly, two things often come together: firstly, the strength of the body’s defenses decreases with age, secondly, the likelihood of other diseases increases. “Especially in the case of respiratory diseases, the lungs are affected twice in the event of an infection,” says Liebert. These include the chronically obstructive Lung disease COPD or asthma.

But not only respiratory diseases increase the risk. Even people with Cardiovascular diseases or diabetic are more susceptible to a severe course – regardless of age. “With diabetics, for example, it’s not just about a disturbance in the sugar metabolism,” says Liebert. Vessels are changed, organs can be attacked. “The disease upsets the balance of the body. He will then be less able to deal with a virus. “

A look at the German casualties shows that three quarters of them are 80 years old or older.

Is Covid-19 safe for younger people?

No. Younger people are less at risk overall. But it is becoming increasingly clear: the corona virus can also hit younger people massively. In intensive care units in Germany, too, young patients infected with the coronavirus are being treated more and more. Read here: Young Risk Group – You are in your mid-20s and could die after being infected with the coronavirus.

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That has been shown in Italy – and “that is a picture that also emerges in Germany,” said chief physician Clemens Wendtner from the Clinic for Infectious Diseases at Munich Clinic Schwabing. “The youngest symptomatic Covid 19 patients were in their early 20s. Overall, we see the entire demographic age spectrum, whether in normal or intensive care. ”Si

The World Health Organization (WHO) appealed to young people to adhere to strict exit restrictions during the Corona crisis. “I have a message for young people,” said WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva on Friday. “You are not invincible.”

Are children particularly at risk from Sars-CoV-2?

On the contrary. At least that’s what a recent study by Chinese scientists and researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. The team had a closer look at 391 infected people and around 1300 contact persons. You come to the conclusion that yourself children infected with the virus just as often, however less severe or no symptoms at all demonstrate.

The study has not yet gone through the usual process in which independent experts check the quality of the work. But the results confirm older assumptions. Nobody knows why children are better able to cope with an infection with Sars-CoV-2.

Also Pregnant women According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), do not appear to be particularly at risk for a difficult course. This is an infectiologist’s biggest concern for the coronavirus.

Are smokers at increased risk of developing a severe course?

There is still no scientific knowledge on this. But data from China show that men seem to hit the virus harder than women, and experts like the virologist Christian Drosten from the Berlin Charité also consider a connection with smoking to be possible.

The German government’s drug commissioner, Daniela Ludwig, is calling on the Germans to stop smoking in the face of the coronavirus crisis. “It has been proven that smokers in particular belong to a risk group,” said the CSU politician to our editorial team.

Smokers were at risk of developing much more severe pneumonia from the novel pathogen Covid-19 than non-smokers. Therefore, smokers should change their behavior urgently, according to the drug commissioner. “Stop smoking now – it’s high time!” Ludwig appealed.

Every second Chinese man is a smoker, and women are significantly fewer. Even if the connections are not yet clear, “the tip to stop smoking may be a good one,” said virologist Drosten a few days ago on the ZDF program “Maybrit Illner”.

As with many things, it depends on how long and how much someone smokes – so how pre-damaged that is Lung tissue already is, says Liebert. “The tissue in the smoking lung is already weakened. An infection with Sars-CoV-2 would add to that. “

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Is there a special risk for cancer patients?

According to the cancer information service of the German Cancer Research Center there is currently little information on how cancer patients react to Sars-CoV-2 infection. However, since they can have a weakened immune system for various reasons, they could also develop Covid-19 lung disease more severely. That is why cancer patients should get the recommended ones Hygiene measures the cancer information service says.

The German Society for Hematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO) also recommends planned cancer therapies initially not to postpone. However, if a cancer patient has contact with a corona-infected person, the benefits and risks of a planned therapy should be discussed with the treating physicians.

  • How does the coronavirus spread:

Are there drugs or active ingredients that have an impact on the course of the disease?

French health minister Olivier Véran wrote on Twitter about anti-inflammatories Ibuprofen could make a coronavirus infection worse. In case of fever, one should Paracetamol take, advised Véran. The national health director Jérôme Salomon made a similar statement and advised against taking so-called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) from. In addition to ibuprofen, this group of active substances also includes Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA; aspirin) and Diclofenac.

Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit from the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) can well imagine that especially ASA, but also ibuprofen, could not be helpful for the lung disease Covid-19. “Ibuprofen inhibits blood clotting, which would be a possible indication,” explains the virologist. This increases the risk of internal bleeding. “This is not the case with paracetamol.”

Nevertheless, as far as he knows, a connection between the intake of NSAIDs and severe courses in Covid-19 has not yet been established, emphasizes Schmidt-Chanasit. “We know little about the pathogenesis of the Sars-CoV-2 virus. There are no clinical data on this yet. ”In France, ibuprofen has not been freely available in pharmacies since the beginning of the year.

At the same time, news spread on social networks that ibuprofen increased the susceptibility to coronavirus infection. Researchers at the University Hospital Vienna found out, it said. The university distanced itself from this message and wrote on Twitter of a false message. The German Ministry of Health had also warned of false messages circulating on the subject of coronavirus, among other things, on WhatsApp and on social media.

Corona virus alert before ibuprofen whatsapp fake news The World Health Organization (WHO) canceled its warning of taking ibuprofen on Thursday. The WHO experts had consulted studies and doctors and concluded that there were no indications of negative ibuprofen consequences in Covid 19 patients beyond the known side effects in certain population groups.

Should people from the risk group also get vaccinated now?

It could not be earlier than summer 2021 vaccination against Sars-CoV-2. However, the Robert Koch Institute generally recommends everyone to be vaccinated according to the recommendations of the Standing Vaccination Committee (Stiko) – especially against diseases that could weaken the lungs, such as pneumococci, whooping cough or influenza.

“This recommendation applies all the more to people at risk of developing a severe illness,” says Liebert. Concerns about a weakening of the immune system due to the vaccination and the resulting susceptibility to severe illnesses with Covid-19 are unfounded, says the virologist: “The vaccines are killed pathogens.”

Vaccination is therefore not a challenge for the immune system. “Everyone should now simply have their family doctor check the status of their vaccination card,” advises Liebert. Spontaneous visits are taboo. Whether and when a vaccination is advisable should always be discussed in advance by telephone with the family doctor.

What do healthy people have to consider when dealing with high-risk patients?

Compliance with hygiene rules is particularly important here. Means: thorough Wash your hands, Cough and sneeze label. Breathing masks and disinfectants are not necessary, says Liebert. “You need these things in the hospital. Buying hamsters deprives the healthcare system of its resources. ” Soap be a good way to inactivate the virus. Also on surfaces if you let the soap solution act.

The Grandparents no longer visiting for fear of infecting them with corona is nonsensical, says Liebert. However, there are a few things to be aware of: “If your grandmother has a respiratory infection, for example, you shouldn’t hug her too intimately to avoid passing on a possible undetected corona infection,” says Liebert.

Coronavirus: previous illnesses increase the mortality rate

In addition to age and gender, the results show that too Pre-existing illness have an impact on the course of the disease and on the risk of death. The highest mortality rate is among infected people Cardiovascular diseases – Here it is 10.5 percent according to the results of the Chinese researchers.

The mortality rate for diabetics is 7.3 percent, for people with respiratory diseases 6.3 percent and for hypertension 6.0 percent.

Read here:
This is how home quarantine works.

The mortality rate could be particularly high in Germany

Princeton researcher Jessica Metcalf showed in three graphs on Twitter how the coronavirus endangers the older age groups other populations could impact the world:

Chart A shows the increasing mortality from Sars-CoV-2 with age. Diagram B shows what the age distribution looks like in China, the USA, Germany, Indonesia and Madagascar. C links the numbers of A and B and shows – assuming the same conditions – that relative mortality in Germany, for example, could be particularly high if there was an outbreak due to the age structure.


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