How much of a threat is the coronavirus to Louisiana’s population?

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March 19, 2020 by Tom Aswell (Louisiana Voice)

How much of a threat is the coronavirus to Louisiana’s population?

According to 24/7 Wall Street, the survey company that publishes statistics and trends on just about every known subject of interest to Americans, it depends.

For at-risk adults over the age of 60, the news is pretty good. For those ages 18-60, not so much. For adults at-risk because of age and/or medical conditions, it’s a little on the more high side, compared to other states.

Results published by the nonprofit health care policy organization Kaiser Family Foundation concluded that the data confirm the need to take “unprecedented efforts to minimize the spread of the coronavirus,” according to the 24/7 report.

The study indicates that Louisiana adults over 60 out of all at-risk adults have a 67.2 percent chance of contracting the virus, the second-lowest rate in the nation. Lowest was Arkansas, at 66.9 percent while Vermont was highest at 79.7 percent.

The news wasn’t nearly so good for Louisiana citizens in the 18-60 at-risk age group. While the overall rate of 20.0 percent appears relatively low when compared to those 60 and over, their rate actually was sixth-highest in the nation. West Virginia was highest for that age group at 24.9 percent, followed by Arkansas (22.3 percent) and Alabama (21.6 percent). Minnesota was lowest at 12.4 percent.

For adults at-risk because of age or medical conditions, Louisiana was 19th highest at 43.2 percent. Lowest was Utah at 33.5 percent.

Louisiana’s poverty rate of 18.6 percent was third highest in the nation, exceeded only by New Mexico (second highest at 19.5 percent) and Mississippi (highest, at 19.7 percent). New Hampshire had the lowest poverty rate (7.6 percent).

The data compiled for the report included adults 18 and older and represented adults who reported being told by a physician that they have one of the listed conditions: heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. Data excluded those living in nursing homes and other institutional settings

Approximately 41% of U.S. adults ages 18 and older (105.5 million people) are at greater risk of serious illness if they become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. An estimated additional 1.3 million people living in nursing homes are not only at high risk of serious illness but also of the virus spreading faster because of their dense, communal living conditions.

An estimated 5.7 million adults who are at higher risk of getting a serious illness if they become infected with the novel coronavirus are uninsured, including 3.9 million adults under age 60 and 1.8 million who are ages 60-64.