Coronavirus: Are Young People at Risk?

Photo By Paranyu From Shutterstock

Part 1

As with most viral outbreaks, the people most at risk are the elderly and/or infirm and those with underlying health issues. Certainly in the current situation, when it comes to a persons age, the older you are the higher the risk that you will contract coronavirus.

However, when these viral outbreaks occur, the young and healthy seem to walk around with an air of invincibility, believing themselves somehow immune. Unfortunately, as the Spanish flu outbreak from January 1918 to December 1920, an outbreak that infected 500 million people, showed this is far from the case.

Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill the very young and the very old, with a higher survival rate for those in between, but the Spanish flu pandemic resulted in a higher than expected mortality rate for young adults.

While it is true that coronavirus has been much deadlier in older people, but more anecdotes are popping up of young, healthy people getting critically ill. Among the first reported cases in the US, around 40 percent of the patients that required hospitalization were between the ages of 20 and 54, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first indications that the coronavirus was a threat to the younger members of society emerged in what is believed to be the source of the virus, Wuhan, China. Although they were health professionals on the frontline of the fight to treat this virus, it showed that Covid-19 does not discriminate due to a persons age.

Dr Peng Yinhua, who had planned to marry his fiancée on February 1, postponed his wedding to help treat patients in Wuhan. He died of the disease on February 21 aged just 29 years old. Another young doctor, Li Wenliang, had been censored after sounding the alarm about the coronavirus to fellow medical-school alumni. He died February 7, aged just 34 years old.

In recent days a report on the BBC announced the death of a 21 year old in the UK. Chloe Middleton, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, had no underlying health issues but despite this, sadly passed away last week from Covid-19.

On Tuesday the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced the death of a 17-year-old boy from Lancaster, California was from the coronavirus. Hours later, it walked back that statement, saying the death would be further evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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