Coronavirus will affect 1 in 5 people globally who are suffering from lifestyle diseases, says Lancet study

An estimated 1.7 billion people at severe COVID-19 risk due to underlying health problems.

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Globally, less than 5 percent of people aged under 20 have an underlying risk factor, compared with two thirds of over 70s.
PARIS: An estimated 1.7 billion people -- more than 20 percent of the world's population -- risk becoming severely infected with COVID-19 due to underlying health problems such as obesity and heart disease, analysis showed Tuesday.

The novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 420,000 people globally during the first wave of the pandemic, adversely effects patients suffering from co-morbidities.

A team of experts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analysed global data sets of illnesses including diabetes, lung disease and HIV used these to estimate how many people are at heightened risk of serious COVID-19 infection.


They found that one in five people have at least one underlying health problem putting them in greater danger.

While not all of those would go on to develop severe symptoms if infected, the researchers said around 4 percent of the global population -- around 350 million) would likely get sick enough to require hospital treatment.

"As countries move out of lockdown, governments are looking for ways to protect the most vulnerable from a virus that is still circulating," said Andrew Clark, who contributed to the study.
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"This might involve advising people with underlying conditions to adopt social distancing measures appropriate to their level of risk."

Clark said the findings could help governments make decisions on who receives a COVID-19 vaccine first when one becomes available.

Consistent with other studies about COVID risk, the authors found that older people are in greater danger of getting seriously unwell from the virus.

Less than 5 percent of people aged under 20 have an underlying risk factor, compared with two thirds of over 70s.
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Countries with younger populations have fewer people with at least one underlying condition, but risks vary globally, according to the analysis.

Small island states such as Fiji and Mauritius have among the highest rates of diabetes -- a known COVID-19 risk factor -- on Earth, for example.
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And countries with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS, such as eSwatini and Lesotho, also need to be vigilant, said authors of the research published in The Lancet.

In Europe, more than 30 percent of people have one or more health conditions, it showed.

Writing in a linked comment, Nina Schwalbe from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said the study showed "it is time to evolve from a one-size-fits-all approach to one that centres on those most at risk."

Bust The Myth Bubble: Sesame Oil, Alcohol Sprays Can't Prevent Coronavirus
1/11
A lot of what you hear or read about the coronavirus may be myths. WHO data busts a few common misconceptions.
A lot of what you hear or read about the coronavirus may be myths. WHO data busts a few common misconceptions.
Myth: Pneumonia vaccines will protect you against coronavirus.

Reality: Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against coronavirus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts. However, while they are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.
Myth: Pneumonia vaccines will protect you against coronavirus. Reality: Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protec..
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Myth: Ultraviolet disinfection lamp can kill the coronavirus.

Reality: UV lamps should not be used to sterilise hands or other areas of skin. Far from killing the virus, the UV radiation can actually cause skin irritation.
Myth: Ultraviolet disinfection lamp can kill the coronavirus. Reality: UV lamps should not be used to sterilise hands or other areas of skin. Far from killing the virus, the UV radiation can actuall..
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Myth: Thermal scanners can help detect infected people.

Reality: Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever due to the coronavirus infection. However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with the fever. This is because it takes between two and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
Myth: Thermal scanners can help detect infected people. Reality: Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever due to the coronavirus infection. However, they cannot ..
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Myth: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body kill the coronavirus.

Reality: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. In fact, spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (ie eyes, mouth). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be used to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.
Myth: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body kill the coronavirus. Reality: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. In fact..
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Myth: Putting on sesame oil will block the coronavirus from entering the body.

Reality: Sesame oil does not kill coronavirus. There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the 2019-nCoV on surfaces. These include bleach or chlorine-based disinfectants, solvents, 75 per cent ethanol, peracetic acid and chloroform. However, they have little or no impact on the virus if you put them on the skin or under your nose. It can even be dangerous to put these chemicals on your skin.
Myth: Putting on sesame oil will block the coronavirus from entering the body. Reality: Sesame oil does not kill coronavirus. There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the 2019-nCoV on sur..
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Myth: Coronavirus mainly affects older people.

Reality: People of all ages can be infected by the 2019-nCoV. Older people, and people with preexisting medical conditions [such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease] appear to be more vulnerable. But WHO has advised people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus.
Myth: Coronavirus mainly affects older people. Reality: People of all ages can be infected by the 2019-nCoV. Older people, and people with preexisting medical conditions [such as asthma, diabetes, h..
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Myth: Rinsing your nose with saline will help prevent coronavirus infection.

Reality: There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from a coronavirus infection. But there is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from a common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
Myth: Rinsing your nose with saline will help prevent coronavirus infection. Reality: There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from a coronavirus infecti..
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Myth: It’s not safe to receive letters or packages from China.

Reality: It is safe to receive letters and packages from China. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know that coronaviruses do not survive long on objects such as letters or packages.
Myth: It’s not safe to receive letters or packages from China. Reality: It is safe to receive letters and packages from China. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the..
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Myth: Pets at home can spread the coronavirus

Reality: At present, there is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with these pets. This will protect you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.
Myth: Pets at home can spread the coronavirus Reality: At present, there is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the coronavirus. However, it is alway..
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