Who in B.C. is getting coronavirus and who is most severely affected?

Modelling data released by B.C. health officials gives a first look into who is contracting COVID-19, and who is affected by it the most severely.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presented a second set of modelling data Friday, which confirms that B.C.’s seniors are hardest hit by the disease.

More than half of the cases, 53 per cent, are women — a reflection of the fact that many of the people getting sick with COVID-19 are health-care workers, who are disproportionately female already, said Henry.

The median age of patients is just 54 years old.

But when it comes to the 349 people who have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the outbreak began, the median age jumps by about a decade to 68.

The median age of deaths is 86 years old, according to the data, which examines cases from Jan. 15 up until April 14.

Forty-nine of B.C.’s 78 deaths so far are linked to seniors’ homes.

“We know that it more differentially affects our seniors and elders, and we know the long-term care facility outbreaks have led to a large number of people who have died of this disease,” said Henry.

“Their families and their caregivers have all been affected by that.”

Just one person in their 40s and two people in their 60s have died from the illness. More than half of those who have died were in their 80s, and about a quarter in their 90s or older.

The data has also highlighted a correlation between COVID-19 and underlying health conditions.

“One third of people have had at least one chronic condition, and those numbers go up as we get older and we get more likely to have illnesses like cancer or diabetes or other things that make you more likely to have severe illness,” Henry said.

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