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Coronavirus: smokers as a special risk group - that's what the expert recommends


Coronavirus infection is said to be particularly dangerous for high-risk groups such as the elderly. But young people are also treated in the hospital.

Coronavirus infection is said to be particularly dangerous for high-risk groups such as the elderly. But young people are also treated in the hospital.

Update from April 7th, 2020: Smokers apparently belong to the Covid 19 risk group regardless of their age

Data from China had shown that smoking, regardless of age, increases the risk of severe Covid 19 courses *. Professor Michael Pfeifer, managing director of the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) therefore advises: " Stop smoking directly ". In an interview with Deutschlandfunk, he said: "Our airways are lined with so-called cilia, which clean the airways themselves." Smoking would damage the cilia, which can make it easier for coronaviruses to enter the body through the lungs and then spread further.

Even if the bronchial mucosa damaged by smoking takes some time to recover and can even remain permanently damaged in long-term smokers , Pfeifer sees a sensible measure in stopping smoking immediately - also with regard to the fact that cigarettes are anything but beneficial to health. Also questionable ingredients in the liquid of e-cigarettes * damage the bronchial mucosa, can be carcinogenic and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Update of March 23, 2020: Young people are also affected by severe Covid 19 courses

So far, many young people have weighed themselves in safety with regard to the novel lung disease Covid-19. But new studies show that infection with coronaviruses * can also be severe in younger people. US researchers had evaluated coronavirus infections in the United States reported until March 16. 508 patients had to be treated in the hospital for severe illnesses, of which 20 percent were 20 to 44 years old - almost a quarter .

To the study

Article dated March 19, 2020 : Constantly new confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide don't breathe a sigh of relief. The Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University has reported 1,348,184 cases of the novel lung disease Covid-19 worldwide . 74,816 deaths are reported (as of April 7, 2020). In Germany, too, with 103,375 coronavirus infections reported to date, 1,810 deaths have occurred.

More on the subject : Covid-19: Germany reports low death rate - people who have already been cured are probably immune.

Corona pandemic: On average, the patients were 51 years old

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal agency responsible for infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases, reports that severe disease courses are observed above all in risk groups. These include:

  • older people (from around 50 years the risk of a severe course increases)
  • Smokers
  • People with previous diseases of the heart, lungs (such as asthma or chronic bronchitis) or the liver (chronic liver diseases)
  • People with diabetes *, cancer or a weakened immune system (e.g. by taking drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cortisone)

For younger and healthy people, infection with coronaviruses * generally does not pose a risk to life, but serious illnesses are also possible here. The RKI summarizes: " The course of the disease is non-specific, varied and varies widely, from symptom-free courses to severe pneumonia with lung failure and death . Therefore, no general statements can be made about the 'typical' course of the disease".

People who are infected with coronaviruses but show no symptoms usually do not go to the doctor. The disease is not recognized. However, there are valid figures from China: The 5,924 laboratory-confirmed cases recorded in China by February 20, 2020 were mild to moderate in around 80 percent of the patients , as the RKI reported. 14 percent was severe but not life-threatening and six percent of the cases were classified as critical to life-threatening. On average, the Chinese patients were 51 years old, a good three-quarters of the cases occurred in the 30- to 69-year-old age group. It was striking that the under 20s were hardly affected at 2.4 percent.

Read also : Coronavirus: The typical symptoms of an infection with Sars-CoV-2 .

Deaths as a result of Covid-19 in Germany: pensioners particularly at risk

For Germany there is still no evaluation by age , but a breakdown by federal state has been published. According to the RKI, the district of Heinsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia in the Cologne region is one of the "most affected areas in Germany".

Confirmed coronavirus infections in Germany by state (as of April 7, 2020):

  • North Rhine-Westphalia: 20,220 cases, 282 deaths
  • Bavaria: 26,163 cases, 481 deaths
  • Baden-W├╝rttemberg: 20,141 cases, 433 deaths
  • Lower Saxony: 6,200 cases, 111 deaths
  • Berlin: 3,845 cases, 28 deaths
  • Hesse: 4,837 cases, 73 deaths
  • Hamburg: 3,059 cases, 20 deaths
  • Rhineland-Palatinate: 3,992 cases, 34 deaths
  • Saxony: 2,997 cases, 38 deaths
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: 531 cases, 8 deaths
  • Brandenburg: 1,384 cases, 20 deaths
  • Schleswig-Holstein: 1,730 cases, 24 deaths
  • Saarland: 1,532 cases, 16 deaths
  • Saxony-Anhalt: 987 cases, 12 deaths
  • Bremen: 399 cases, 9 deaths
  • Thuringia: 1,208 cases, 18 deaths


Read more: Quarantine due to COVID-19? You have to consider that now.

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* is part of the nationwide Ippen-Digital editors network.

Source: merkur

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