Younger Brits more likely to die in an accident than from Covid, experts claim


COVID can be considered a “disease of old age” with younger Brits more likely to die in an accident than from the bug, experts claim.

Leading scientists warn infected 80-year-olds are 2,000 times more likely to be killed than 20-year-olds with coronavirus.

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Younger Brits are more likely to die in an accident than from Covid, experts claim

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Younger Brits are more likely to die in an accident than from Covid, experts claimCredit: AFP or licensors

And said there are no other infectious diseases, apart from Sars, where age is such an overwhelming risk factor.

It means a 40-year-old with poor health is still less vulnerable to Covid than someone in their 60s.

Risk expert Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, from the University of Cambridge, said under-55s are at relatively low risk from the bug.

And said their findings can give younger Brits greater confidence to return to work.

Prof Spiegelhalter said: “We’ve done analyses which show for under-55s, the risk of dying from Covid is less than the risk of dying from accidents.

“Young people who are very reluctant to go out, who are anxious….I think it’s very unfortunate because, yes they probably already increased risk because they’ll have some health condition.

“But the analysis that we’ve done shows that the age is so important, that even a younger person with a health condition is still at less risk than someone who’s 20 years older.

The study, published in the BMJ [pls keep], found over-55s faced an extra five weeks risk of dying over the four month peak of the pandemic.

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But for schoolchildren, it only added two more days – a tiny change.

 

Prof Mark Woolhouse, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “I wouldn’t go quite as far as describing COVID as a disease of old age, but we’re in that territory.

“In fact, it’s really unusual for an infectious disease.”

He said the best way to protect vulnerable Brits is to adopt extra precautions, such as limiting socialising, and for close contacts to also take extra care.

Prof Woolhouse said the first lockdown likely caused more harm than it prevented – and urged ministers to avoid a repeat.

He added: “Since COVID appeared on the scene…the world is a worse place.

“When we have a full assessment, what happened over March, April and May [during lockdown] was that the cure will indeed turn out to be worse than the disease.”

The findings can give younger Brits greater confidence to return to work

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The findings can give younger Brits greater confidence to return to workCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Chris Whitty talks though data showing a rise in coronavirus cases in younger people


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