I think this is relevant and important to everyone including their cats! The stark reality is that statistics and data from Italy, where the coronavirus has spread more than anywhere else outside of China, tell us that people who are below the age of 40 do not die of this novel coronavirus. Update: there have been some rare cases of 40 and under-year-olds dying of this disease since I wrote the article.
There are zero deaths in the 0-39 age bracket. Beyond that group, 2.5% of people in the 60-70 bracket die, 6.4% of people in the 70-79 bracket die and 13.2% of 80 plus people die. And the very elderly are the ones with underlying health issues and it is sadly often that it is these people who are the ones who die.
The information is published in The Sunday Times March 15th 2020. Their source is the Italian Health Ministry, Country Digest. I hope the information assuages fear in some people. The fear element is increasing causing behaviour which is arguably unwise and detrimental to people and companion animals.
Of course Covid-19 is a nasty disease and it makes the sufferer feel wretched but if you are 40 and below and in reasonable health your body’s immune system will kill the virus and you’ll survive unless the Italian data is skewed in some way.
Even those in the 70-79 bracket who are infected have a 93.6% chance of survival. That’s a very high survival rate. There is some confusion about death rates from Covid-19. It is reported online that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the death rate is 3%. I have also read that overall that the death rate is 1%. Seasonal flu has an oveall death rate of 0.1% apparently.
However, I think the most interesting data about death rates are the figures on this page coming out of Italy. There is a negative story in the paper, however. Covid-19 survivors can be left with lung damage that takes 15 years to heal.
What relevancy is there to cats? Good question. Well, I think that you’ll find that older, single people are more likely to be guardians of a cat companion and therefore the data are less favourable towards these people. If the outbreak becomes dramatically more serious there is likely to be more homeless cats who were living with single, elderly people. However, woman have better immune systems than men I am told and therefore they may be able to fight off the disease even if elderly but I have no information on that.