A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that American adults of all ages, not just the elderly, are being hospitalized for COVID-19.
The report issued Wednesday on nearly 2,500 of the first recorded cases in the United States found that the oldest patients had the greatest likelihood of dying from the virus, but that younger Americans are also at risk of being hospitalized by it.
Of the 508 hospitalized patients, 38 percent were between the ages of 20 and 54 and nearly half of the 121 intensive care unit patients were adults under 64.
“It’s not just going to be the elderly,” Stephen S. Morse, an epidemiology professor 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.”
Among hospitalized patients, 20 percent were aged 20-44 years old, and among patients admitted to the ICU, 12 percent were adults in the same age group.
“Younger people may feel more confident about their ability to withstand a virus like this,” Dr. Christopher Carlsten, head of respiratory medicine at the University of British Columbia, told The Times.
“If that many people are being hospitalized, that means that there are a lot of young people in the community that are walking around with the infection.”
The Times pointed out that while the CDC’s report did not say if any of the young patients had underlying medical conditions, they were still taking up a significant amount of space in hospital beds and intensive care units.
The report’s authors said that they will need to conduct follow-ups on many of the reported cases to determine the outcomes of active cases.
“The risk for serious disease and death in COVID-19 cases among persons in the United States increases with age,” the CDC’s report read.
“Social distancing is recommended for all ages to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health care system, and help protect vulnerable older adults.”
As of Thursday, there are cases of coronavirus in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In these jurisdictions, there are 10,442 total cases and 150 fatalities, according to data from the CDC.
President Donald Trump in a Wednesday media conference outlined a series of actions he will take to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The Trump administration is “suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April” and is looking to make direct payouts to taxpayers.
The president will also be invoking the Defense Production Act of 1950 to help with potential medical supply shortages in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
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