FIGURES from a study in china reinforce the concern that older people are very much more vulnerable than the young to coronavirus.

The information has been provided by Ludlow resident Professor Russell Cheng.

This information was published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology February 2020, Vol 41, No, 2, of a study of more than 70,000 cases in China up to February 2020, which is the biggest study of its kind so far.

Though it only concerns cases in China, Professor Cheng says it may be of interest as there are no similar details available in the UK.

They show that the probability of death is very strongly correlated with age:

In the survey it showed that 14.8 people aged 80 or over died, eight per cent of people between 70 and 79 years, 3.6 per cent of people aged 60-69, 1.3 per cent of those between 50 and 59, for people in their 40’s the figure is 0.4 per cent and just 0.2 per cent for people between 10 and 39 years.

Overall 2.8 per cent of men with the virus died and 1.7 per cent of women.

Concerning existing illnesses that put patients at risk, cardiovascular disease is the worst, followed by diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and hypertension.

“So, if we assume that half the world gets infected and the survey findings apply, the probability of dying from Covid 19 is about 0.1 per cent if you are under 30 (which is not bad) but four per cent if you are my age (which is less good!),” added Professor Cheng.

In Ludlow Dr Catherine Beanland, from the Portcullis surgery has expressed concern at the high death rate in older people because Ludlow has a population that is signifficantly older than the national average.

In Italy there has been a relatively high death rate but this is in part because the country has the second oldest population in the world and the average age of Italians that have been killed by Coronavirus is 81 years.