The coronavirus is more likely to infect people over age 40 and is more likely to be fatal in people over the age of 60, according to recent studies of the new virus.
The average age of the patients infected with 2019-nCoV pneumonia at a hospital in Wuhan, China was 55.5 years, according to a study published in The Lancet.
According to China’s National Health Commission, around 80% of coronavirus fatalities in China were over the age of 60, CNBC reported.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control continues to closely monitor the outbreak of the respiratory disease caused by the novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand.
As of February 17, 2020, fifteen people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the United States (not including U.S. passengers evacuated from the Diamond Princess in Japan).
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.
Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2), according to the CDC.
Chinese health officials have reported tens of thousands of cases of COVID-19 in China, with the virus reportedly spreading from person-to-person in parts of that country.
COVID-19 illnesses, most of them associated with travel from Wuhan, also are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States.
Some person-to-person spread of this virus outside China has been detected. The United States reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020.
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.”
On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.
Also on January 31, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus.”