Australia's most vulnerable communities which could be hit by coronavirus

Thousands of elderly or vulnerable Australians could lose their lives to the coronavirus, with older communities likely to be the hardest hit. 

While Australia's coronavirus death rate remains relatively low compared to harder-hit countries around the world, the number of fatalities among the elderly is high. 

The country has suffered 14 deaths from COVID-19 so far, all of whom were elderly, including the latest victim, a 91-year-old woman from a Sydney aged care home who died on Saturday.  

Death rates have indicated people over the age of 80 and those with underlying health conditions tend to be the most vulnerable.  

'Older people don't have as strong an immune system so they are more vulnerable to infectious disease,' Dr Kate Tulenko of Corvus Health explained. 

'They’re also more likely to have conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or kidney disease, which weaken their body’s ability to fight infectious disease.'

Australia has a population of 25.6 million, of which just 4 per cent is in the 80 or older demographic. 

Daily Mail Australia has taken a look at the top ten areas that could be most at risk based on its population of elderly residents.  

Australia's coronavirus cases continue to rise, but some residents are still defying advice aimed at reducing the spread of the virus

Australia's coronavirus cases continue to rise, but some residents are still defying advice aimed at reducing the spread of the virus

QUEENSCLIFFE, VICTORIA

Located on the Bellarine Peninsula, south of of Swan Bay, this small coastal town has a population of just 2,900.  

Residents who are 80 or older make up 11.8 per cent of the population, meaning a coronavirus outbreak could put hundreds of elderly people at risk.   

'People over the age of 80 years and those with chronic diseases are the most vulnerable,' La Trobe University infectious disease specialist Hassan Vally told news.com.au.

'For those over 80, approximately 15 per cent of those infected will die.'

An incredible 50.3 per cent of the borough is aged over 60. 

Located on the Bellarine Peninsula, south of of Swan Bay, the small coastal town of Queenscliff (pictured) has a population of just 2,900

Located on the Bellarine Peninsula, south of of Swan Bay, the small coastal town of Queenscliff (pictured) has a population of just 2,900

 WYALKATCHEM, WESTERN AUSTRALIA  

A small town with a population of just 523 people, 10.8 per cent of its residents are aged 80 and over.

A remote neighbourhood, it sits 192km north-east of Perth and 35km east of Dowerin.

Western Australia has 278 cases of coronavirus so far, and has suffered two deaths.

The state's first victim was 78-year-old James Kwan, who caught the virus on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was forced to quarantine in Japan in February. 

He died on March 1 in a hospital in Perth. 

Wyalkatchem in Western Australia (pictured) is small town with a population of just 523 people, 10.8 per cent of its residents are aged 80 and over

Wyalkatchem in Western Australia (pictured) is small town with a population of just 523 people, 10.8 per cent of its residents are aged 80 and over

WHY ARE OLDER PEOPLE HARDEST HIT BY COVID-19? 

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. 

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. 

This is because they don't have as strong an immune system so they are more vulnerable to infectious disease.

Source: World Health Organisation 

VICTOR HARBOR, SOUTH AUSTRALIA   

A coastal town in South Australia, 10.5 per cent of Victor Harbor's residents are aged 80 or over.

It sits 82km south of Adelaide along the Fleurieu Peninsula and is a popular destination for schoolies - but normally boasts a far older population.

The population of the town is around 4,000, but the population often triples during the summer holidays. 

South Australia has 287 cases of COVID-19 so far, but no one has died.

But the town has been deemed one of the most vulnerable communities, ranking highly in all four risk demographics, according to the Australian.

This includes an ageing population, relatively high population density, 9.2 per cent of people working in hospitality - with potentially high infection rates - and many grandparents. 

Victor Harbor (pictured, from Granite Island) is on the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula

Victor Harbor (pictured, from Granite Island) is on the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula

BARGUNA WEST, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 

Barunga West is a local government area in the Yorke and Mid

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