THE Department of Health (DOH) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) noted an increasing number of senior citizens infected with coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Dr. Thea Pamela Cajulao, Adult Infectious Disease specialist of DOH-CAR, said that based on the census of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), 32 percent Covid-19 patients belong to the above 60 years old age group.
“As of October 22, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center has recorded 60 admitted patients, with 36 among these as adults, 12 pediatric patients, 10 obstetrician-gynecologist and two other cases. The breakdown shows that 22 filed cases with two moderate, 14 under severe cases, and five critical. All of these patients belonging to the severe and critical groups are above 60 years except for one case,” Cajulao said.
The medical specialists noted that the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among those 50 years old and above started in June this year.
“From September to October, we had 97 percent in the admission of senior patients. Last July, we had 26 or 67 percent of these seniors being admitted. This October, they are now at 50 percent and majority of these senior patients are those who are severe or critical. The difference between severe and critical is that when it is severe, they have severe phenomena and severe respiratory distress while for critical, we follow a criteria having acute respiratory failure and these are those having bad prognosis form patients,” Cajulao added.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC), which is one of the sources for reliable medical information recommended by DOH, noted that among adults, the risk for severe illness from Covid-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk.
Severe illness means that the person with Covid-19 may require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they may even die.
CDC said that as one gets older, he or she is at risk for severe illness from Covid-19 increases. For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s.
The greatest risk for severe illness from Covid-19 is among those aged 85 or older, while other factors that can increase ones risk for severe illness, such as having underlying medical conditions.