As virus surges, younger people account for 'disturbing' number of cases

Public health officials and local and state officials are concerned that a rising number of younger people are becoming infected with the novel coronavirus.

Public health officials and local and state officials are concerned that a rising number of younger people are becoming infected with the novel coronavirus. People aged 20–44 years now represent nearly one-half of all cases in Arizona, while in King County, WA, people in their 20s and 30s make up about 45% of new coronavirus cases, up from about 25% in March. Judith A. Malmgren, PhD, an epidemiologist in Seattle, believes that percentage is higher because younger people are less likely to be symptomatic. Experts also note that people in their 20s and 30s are more likely to go out and socialize, raising concerns that asymptomatic young people are helping to spread the coronavirus. Mayor Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade County—where the number of known coronavirus cases among 18- to 34-year-olds increased fivefold in a month—notes that younger people are at higher risk if they are overweight or have diabetes or other medical conditions. He says about a third of the COVID-19 patients at the public Jackson Health System were aged 18–34 years, and about one-half had a high body mass index. In Texas' Dallas County, data show that people aged 18–40 years comprise 52% of newly reported cases since the beginning of June, up from 38% in March, while people older than age 65 years account for just 8%, down from 16% in March. The governor of Texas has halted the state's reopening process as hospitals grow increasingly crowded.