WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The World Health Organization (WHO) says more and more young people get gravely ill and die from the novel coronavirus.
- The organization busts the myth that only older people, and the ones with underlying conditions are getting critically ill from the disease.
- The WHO added that 10% to 15% of COVID-19 patients in Italy who are in intensive care are under 50 years old.
The World Health Organization announced Friday that more and more people get gravelly ill and die from the novel coronavirus pandemic that has affected almost all countries in the world.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis Unit Head reported at a news briefing that they “are seeing more and more younger individuals” who are experiencing severe symptoms.
She added: “We’ve seen some data from a number of countries across Europe where people of younger age have died. Some of those individuals have had underlying conditions, but some have not.”
Kerkhove said further that since the coronavirus is growing and reaching more countries, more clinical data have been collected, thus researchers have a better understanding of the virus’ behavior. Not much is known about it yet, though, such as why the disease is evolving severely in some people, but not in others.
Most individuals having severe illnesses in the ICU are mostly either older or have underlying conditions, but Kerkhove said, “what we are seeing in some countries is that there are individuals who are in their 30s, who are in their 40s, who are in their 50s who are in ICU and who have died.”
Indeed it is wrong to presume that the virus severely affects older people or the ones with underlying conditions only because in Italy, 10% to 15% of patients who are in intensive care are under 50 years old. While in Korea, one out of six COVID-19 deaths were people who are below 60, added Executive Director of WHO’s Emergencies program, Dr. Mike Ryan.
This shows how important it is for young people to take measures in preventing the spread of the pandemic, not just for themselves, reiterates Ryan, but also to protect others that are more vulnerable to the virus.