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Is there a better way to define groups for COVID-19 impact?

by jmh1 min read4th Mar 20207 comments



I think everyone who has posted a table of stats for COVID-19 infection or deaths seems to do a 10 year grouping. For example here. (Used only because I was looking at that post when it occurred to me.)

However, my understanding is that physiological changes in the human body are not linear over time but tend to be more like state changes. Now, it is true these changes are not on any annual schedule either but we do have some average ages for when changes in the human body seem to occur.

Could using the 10 year grouping actually hide important implications for those trying to make personal decisions based on that data presentation?

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My main worry originally was that 10 year groupings could hide effects on very young children (<1 year). As the parent of a 7 month old this was a concern to me.

However we see 0 deaths in 400+ cases in <10 year olds so this suggests a fairly low upper bound for fatality rates in the very young (compared to the rates in the very old).

Interestingly <20 year olds only accounted for 2% of cases so either there is a reporting issue or so far children are less likely to get the disease (or more likely to be asympomatic).

Flu death rates are low even when grouping 0-4 year olds together (.01%, the same as 5-17 yr olds according to the CDC) so this provides some supporting evidence that the very young are not at heightened risk.