'It’s not just going to be the elderly': New report shows younger people are at serious risk from Covid-19
While almost everyone knows that older people are at greater risk of dying if they fall victim to the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday revealed that younger people may be more vulnerable than we've assumed.
Of 508 people the CDC tracked who were hospitalized in the United States because of the coronavirus outbreak, which causes Covid-19, 20 percent were between the ages of 20 and 44. Another 18 percent were between the ages of 45 and 54, meaning that nearly 40 percent of people who have been hospitalized for the illness are under the age of 55.
Covid-19 presents with symptoms very similar to the seasonal flu, which many people manage without hospitalization. The CDC's new data suggests that, despite a widespread belief that younger or non-elderly people aren't particularly at risk from the infection, they make up a significant portion of people hospitalized for the illness. This suggests their cases may be predisposed to becoming more severe and demand serious treatment than we believed. Fewer than 1 percent of hospitalizations were from people under the age of 19, which supports the notion that children are significantly less likely to be hit hard by the infection. However, they can still spread the infection if they catch it, and some younger children have experienced severe cases.
“It’s not just going to be the elderly," Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, told the New York Times. "There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they’re young and healthy.”
The CDC's data does support the belief that the mortality rate is significantly lower among the younger population. For people over 85, the fatality rate was between 10 percent and 27 percent. People between the ages of 65 and 84 had a fatality rate of between 3 percent and 11 percent. Between ages 55 and 64, that fell to between 1 and 3 percent, and the fatality rate was below 1 percent for people aged 20 to 54. The report found no one below the age of 19 who died from the disease in the United States.