Those most at risk for Covid-19 and when is hospitalization necessary

Updated: Mar. 19, 2020 at 6:37 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -The age group seeing the most positive Covid-19 tests is between 40 and 50 years old. Dr. Joseph Kanter with the State Department of Health says the numbers may reflect the fact that more people are being tested.

“A week ago we were limiting testing to the higher age brackets and as more test become available more people can get tested,” Dr. Kanter said.

He says because young people are out in the public more than others, they’re more likely to contract the virus, but they are not the most vulnerable.

“The outcomes only get worse as individuals age, for example, people who are 80years or older have a 15 percent mortality rate if they get infected. That’s very significant,” Dr. Kanter said.

You can also be vulnerable if you have a health condition.

“Including cardiovascular disease that seems to put you at risk, and I understand there’s a big problem right now with some of the people on respirators who are severely overweight, so obesity seems to be a risk factor," Dr. Brobson Lutz said.

Dr. Lutz says obesity can cause a lot of problems for patients.

“You’re not only carrying excess fat, but you have a whole metabolic factory that you’re carrying around and it’s making hormones that can effect the way you fight the disease,” Dr. Lutz said.

“One of the aspects about this outbreak is there’s not a great treatment yet so when people get sick, whether they’re positive or known to be positive, it’s doesn’t direct the care of that patient,” Dr. Kanter said.

Being hospitalized for Covid-19 has nothing to do with your age, it depends on your symptoms. Doctors say, if possible, it’s always best to recover at home, but if you’re having trouble breaking, it’s likely you’d be admitted.

“Capacity is good at the moment, but we know what’s coming, and so we are preparing for that,” Dr. Kanter said.

He says right now, 38 percent of hospital space across the state is available, but he’s expecting space to become very limited soon.

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