Coronavirus poses threat to the elderly


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Local leaders are working to ease older folks concerns over coronavirus.

Leaders are telling people they shouldn’t panic.

“One thing we need to keep in mind is that many seniors already have high levels of anxiety and fear,” said Rich Zeck, Director of the Pitt County Council on Aging.

Zeck said seniors fear things like death, falling, purchasing prescription drugs, and now, COVID-19.

“When we add another fear level such as coronavirus it adds to their anxiety,” said Zeck.

There is cause for concern when it comes to the elderly being exposed to COVID-19.

“For those folks who are over the age of 60, or who have underlying medical problems, the infection may produce more severe illness in those folks,” said John Silvernail, Pitt County Public Health Director.

Pitt County’s Council on Aging has a simple message: stay calm, help protect others, and practice healthy habits.

“If you don’t feel well, don’t come here. Stay home. If it’s been 24 hours before you’ve had any symptoms, then it’s okay to come back,” said Zeck.

On the flip side, COVID-19 doesn’t appear to be negatively impacting children.

Health experts say kids can ride out the illness much like they would a common cold.

Silvernail did say there are people who have asked to be tested for COVID-19 by their doctors.

Those people did not meet CDC guidance which mandates people have to have contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been to China along with exhibit symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

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