About 95% of patients in the United Kingdom who have died after contracting the coronavirus had serious previous health conditions, according to data obtained by Sky News.
The new report comes as the U.S. and other nations debate whether extending lockdown orders or cautiously reopening businesses poses the biggest risk to citizens and the economy.
A trend across age groups
From the earliest days of the pandemic, experts have identified the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions as among those at the highest risk of complications and death. While much still remains unknown about the virus, results reported by England’s National Health Service seem to support that observation.
As of Sunday, nearly 19,000 people in that country had died from the virus and the overwhelming majority had pre-existing conditions, Sky News reported. Even among the youngest age group included — those between 20 and 39 — the trend held out, with about 82% of patients having suffered from an underlying ailment before their deaths.
Information about individuals under the age of 20 could not be disclosed due to privacy laws, and deaths from Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland were not included.
Johnson backs continued lockdown
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently recovered from a serious bout with the virus and has encouraged the country’s citizens to stay the course in obeying lockdown orders still in place, Sky notes. He said this week that prematurely reopening the country could lead to another spike in illnesses.
“That would mean not only a new wave of death and disease but also an economic disaster,” Johnson said, according to Business Insider. “We would be forced once again to slam on the whole brakes across the whole country and the whole economy, and reimpose restrictions in such a way as to do more and lasting damage.”
Meanwhile, U.S. officials worry about a second wave of the virus amid a robust debate about when and how to lift restrictions.
Similar results in America
Results similar to those coming out of the U.K. have been observed in Massachusetts, according to the Washington Examiner. That data reportedly shows that 98% of victims who died from the virus in that state had conditions including “chronic lung disease, serious heart ailments, obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or liver disease.”
Driving home the fact that there is still much to learn about the virus, however, are strange reports that it has been linked to strokes among young people.
As America weighs its options in the quest to bring this pandemic under control, it is clear that President Donald Trump is dealing with a monumental task unlike any our nation and the world has ever seen.