The world today is in search of answers to a question we hoped that we would never have to solve: How to keep 7 billion people safe from a novel viral pandemic.
The last time that anything like this has happened was all the way back in 1918, over a century ago, before airports and Uber, and while there were a whole lot less of us human beings crowding into cities and town in every corner of the globe.
Unfortunately, our scientists have been tasked to work quickly, as the virus itself is highly, highly contagious.
There is one thing that we have learned already, and it’s that a vast majority of those hospitalized due to the virus have one thing in common: Underlying conditions.
Nearly 90 percent of U.S. coronavirus patients who have been hospitalized have underlying health problems, or comorbidities, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), released Wednesday, focuses on hospitalization rates and characteristics of patients hospitalized with confirmed coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.
CDC reports among 1,482 patients from 14 states who were hospitalized with COVID-19 in March, 74.5 percent were 50 years of age or older, and 54.4 percent were male.
According to Dr. Shikha Garg and associates, during the month of March, among 178 (12%) adult patients with data on underlying conditions, 89.3% had one or more underlying conditions:
“[T]he most common were hypertension (49.7%), obesity (48.3%), chronic lung disease (34.6%), diabetes mellitus (28.3%), and cardiovascular disease (27.8%). “
While this may not seem like a lot to go on, especially after COVID-19 has killed over 110,000 globally, every small bit of information that we discover affords us another clue in the fight to build a suitable weapon against this illness.