“You’re not invincible” WHO warns young people as COVID-19 deaths top 13,000 worldwide

Sunday, March 22, 2020
By Paul Martin

by: Franz Walker
Sunday, March 22, 2020

World Health Organization (WHO) officials have a warning to young people: they can still get infected with the coronavirus.

“You’re not invincible,” WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference on COVID-19.

“One of the things that we are learning is that although older people are the hardest-hit, younger people are not spared. Data from many countries clearly show that people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalization,” he continued.

The WHO’s warning came out just as the death toll from COVID-19 topped 10,000 Friday, then hit 13,000 Saturday, as described on a dashboard created by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering.

Of those, Italy has the highest number of recorded deaths at 3,405?—surpassing the 3,248 reported in China. The numbers look even bleaker for the European country considering that it only has a population of 60 million, compared to the 1.437 billion of the latter.

Young people aren’t taking the outbreak seriously, but they should

Despite the increased death toll, it looks like young people aren’t taking the pandemic seriously. Early reports focused more on the increased risk that the elderly faced from the disease, which may explain this trend. In the United States, for instance, college students have continued to ignore calls for social distancing as they go their annual spring break pilgrimages to beaches in cities such as Miami.

Recent reports, however, say that young people should be concerned.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) close to 40 percent of those hospitalized for COVID-19 fall between the ages of 20 to 54. Meanwhile, in Canada, data from the Public Health Agency of Canada show that 21 percent of cases over there are from people aged 20 to 39.

Younger people shouldn’t pass the virus off as a common cold or flu, cautioned Dr. Alon Vaisman, an infectious disease expert in Toronto.

“There are going to be individuals who, for sometimes clear reasons, sometimes unclear reasons, who are young, who will still have severe complications, related to disease,” said Dr. Vaisman in an interview Thursday night. He added that it was still more likely for a young person to experience a mild form of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, WHO’s Dr. Tedros noted that whether or not a young person falls ill to the disease themselves, they still have a role to play in stopping the spread of the disease.

“The choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else,” he said.

As death’s rise, so have infections

The Rest…HERE

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