Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that they are seeing more cases of young people dying from the coronavirus.
We are seeing more and more younger individuals who are experiencing severe diseases, Maria Van Kerhove, head of WHO’S emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said at an online news briefing.
Mike Ryan, the executive director of WHO’S emergencies program, said that in Italy, which has less confirmed cases than the U.S. but more reported death, 10 to 15 percent of all people in intensive care are under 50.
Health officials said earlier on that the elderly and those with preexisting conditions are the most at risk of experiencing severe illness. Ryan said those messages might have emboldened younger people to ignore public health recommendations.
Kerhove said some of the younger age individuals that have died had underlying conditions and some did not.
The very notion that COVID-19 only affects older people is factually wrong, Hans Kluge, head of the WHO’S Europe office, said during an online news conference Thursday.
Younger people are not invincible, he said.