Your probability of covid-contracting-May 19 is not age-dependent, study suggests


It is well established at this point that the older you are, the more likely you are to have serious cases of COVID-19. However, researchers are not sure if this is because older people are more likely to catch the virus for the first time, or once they are caught they become more severely affected.

We still don’t have all the answers, but a new model has been suggested by a team of researchers in Japan that your age is unlikely to affect your susceptibility to the virus, just the possibility of having a serious case or dying. is.

Researchers plunge deeper into data from three countries – Italy, Spain and Japan, with very different COVID-19 numbers, but all with well-recorded health data.

As of 29 May, 382.3 cases per 100,000 people were confirmed in Italy, 507.2 in Spain and just 13.2 in Japan.

The team looked at the distribution of COVID-19 mortality as well as the original reproduction number (R0). R0 tells us how many people contract the virus from an infected person on average. They found that the age distribution was the same in all countries, but R0 Was quite different.

The team wrote in its new paper, “Between Italy, Spain, and Japan, only small changes in the distribution of COVID-19 mortality are seen, even though the number of deaths per country appears to be very high.”

“To understand the determinant for this condition, we constructed a mathematical model describing the dynamics and natural history of transmission of COVID-19 and analyzed mortality datasets in Italy, Spain, and Japan.”

They also outlined estimated human-to-human interaction levels for each age group, and the level of restriction in each country, which affects R0.

If the proportion of cases in each age group is the same in all three countries (you can see it on the graph below), what is the reason?

(Omori et al., Scientific Report, 2020)

The team found that when they modeled the data to suggest that age does not affect severity or mortality, the sensitivity must vary for the model to work. This is based on what we know about the virus so far.

Instead, the model indicated that sensitivity might not change based on your age, but age did Indicate severity and mortality.

“Our study showed that if the mortality or fraction of symptomatic infections in all COVID-19 cases did not depend on age, then the age at susceptibility against COVID-19 infections differed between Italy, Japan, and Spain. – Dependence is required. Explain the same age distribution of mortality but different basic reproduction numbers (R0), ”The team writes.

“While we cannot completely rule out the existence of age-dependence in susceptibility, our results suggest that it does not depend largely on age, but rather that age-dependence in severity is observed in mortality-age distributions. Contributes immensely in the formation of “.

The model therefore indicated (at least using these data) that the sensitivity of obtaining COVID-19 is very similar across age groups.

This is not the whole story; Researchers suggest that we need more data – such as the exact case fatality rate – to determine more precisely the sensitivity in age groups. This investigation is quite difficult, so the team recommends intensive large-scale studies with real-time discovery.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely any time soon, but hopefully more epidemiological modeling will be the next best thing. A potentially easy investigation could see other countries see if the model is still on hold.

The research has been published in Scientific report.

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