Getting infected by COVID-19 isn’t just a worry for the elderly.
That’s one of the first findings about the virus in the US, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While fatalities were highest in people over 85 years old, catching COVID-19 can result in hospitalization and admission to an intensive care unit for a range of ages, it said. Of the more than 500 people known to be hospitalized, 18% were 45-54 years and 20% were aged 20-44 years.
“Clinicians who care for adults should be aware that COVID-19 can result in severe disease among persons of all ages,” says the report, titled Severe Outcomes Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). “Social distancing is recommended for all ages to slow the spread of the virus.”
The findings come as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned against complacency, after media reports showed young people in many countries ignoring the advice to practise social distancing.
“Although older people are hardest hit, younger people are not spared,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. “I have a message for young people: you are not invincible, this virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you.”