The coronavirus' death toll has surpassed 1,000 worldwide, more than SARS killed in 2003 in a fraction of the time. But so far, it seems to be sparing children, CNBC reports.
In fact, the disease, which started in China where it remains a pandemic, seems to strike older people with underlying health issues most.
The greater majority of the victims of COVID-19, the official name of coronavirus, are over age 40, the World Health Organization says, with the average age 55, according to the medical journal The Lancet.
"Increasing age increases the risk for death," Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, who leads WHO's emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said last week. "It appears even over 80 is the highest risk factor."
Approximately 60% of those who have died in China were over age 60, CNBC reported. Of those, 75% had other conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, China's National Health Commission reported.
At least two very young children have been reported with the virus, a 6-month-old in Singapore, and a baby born with coronavirus in China. But those cases are extremely rare at this point.
It also might be children simply get milder symptoms, as they do with the flu, and fewer cases are known. Still, coronavirus appears to be less deadly so far among all younger people, including young adults.
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