Tedros Adhanom Gebreyes, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks at a press conference on the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, March 2, 2020.
Stefan Vermouth Bloomberg via Getty Images
World Health Organization officials said Thursday that young people who “drop their care”; appear to be causing coronavirus growth in some countries, and although the risk of death is generally low, they may suffer from prolonged symptoms even after recovery.
“We have talked about this before and we will do it again. Young people are not invincible,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyes during a news conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. “Young people can get infected, young people can die, and young people can pass the virus on to others.”
Convincing young people around the world that the virus could pose a serious risk to their health remains a challenge for WHO, Tedros said.
Dr. Maria Van Kerhove, head of the WHO’s Department of Disease and Zoonosis, said that most young people have milder forms of Covid-19, but this is not always the case. Some younger people became seriously ill and died.
“Even people with mild illnesses, some of them will continue to recover well. But some of them have long-term consequences, and we are just beginning to really learn about it,” she said, adding that some suffer from extreme situations of fatigue, shortness of breath or difficult recovery from normal activities, such as returning to work or the gym, even after recovery.
“We’ll find out what that means,” she said.
Kerkhove noted what young people can do to prevent the virus from spreading, including washing their hands, practicing social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding crowded places like bars.
“We constantly see nightclubs as transmission amplifiers,” she said. “It’s very unfortunate because you know that young people want to get back to normal. But there are situations where the virus, if present, can be captured and transmitted effectively.”
U.S. officials have warned that more young people have contracted Covid-19 in recent weeks. White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fochi previously noted on July 16, as cases increased across the American South and West, that the average age of a new Kovid-19 patient had dropped by 15 years since the beginning of the pandemic.
These outbreaks have since shown signs of slowing, although states such as California, Texas and Florida are now reporting record daily deaths from coronavirus, based on a seven-day moving average, according to a CNBC analysis compiled by Johns Hopkins University. According to experts, deaths from covid-19 are usually lagging behind, as someone can become seriously ill and die from the virus.
“You have to take responsibility for yourself, but you also have a social responsibility for getting infected, it’s not just you in a vacuum. You’re promoting a pandemic,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an interview.