You may have heard that only seniors will get COVID-19 and that younger
people don’t have to worry about it. Although older adults with
serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of severe complications
from the virus, young adults are vulnerable as well. Many cases of young,
healthy individuals becoming critically ill are now being reported.
According to new preliminary data from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), younger adults – both Millennials and Gen Xers – are more
vulnerable than previously thought. An analysis of 508 patients in the
US known to have been hospitalized with the virus as of March 16 showed
38% were under the age of 55, with 20% of those patients being 20 to 44
years of age. Additionally, among 121 patients known to have been admitted
to an ICU, 12% of those patients were 20 to 44 years old. Whether or not
these younger patients had underlying medical conditions that made them
more vulnerable is not clear at this time from the CDC analysis.
Although children and teens appear to be less vulnerable to the virus and
may have milder symptoms, they aren’t completely risk free and should
still practice recommended guidelines to help protect themselves and also
prevent spreading the virus to older adults who are most vulnerable.
Children and young adults who have no symptoms and seem perfectly healthy
can still put others at risk by spreading the virus. Everyone can
take these steps as recommended by the CDC to help slow the spread of COVID-19.