New data from the CDC found that a surprising amount of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were between the ages of 20-54, and nearly half of the patients admitted to intensive care units were under age 65.  This data undermines the belief that younger, healthier patients are at lower risk of becoming seriously ill from the COVID-19 infection.
The biggest impact of this news is that we can’t stress enough is the need to social distancing, no matter your age group or general health.
As a quick aside, words are important. Despite the fact we call it social distancing, it’s really physical distancing. While we may need to be physically separated, we are actually seeing the global community come together and support each other in an unprecedented way. I actually think I’ve been more social since this all began and I know others who feel the same way. Despite being physically distanced, I highly recommend staying socially engaged with your family, friends and community. Now, back to the breaking news 🙂
Society overall has done its part to implement physical distancing across the country, with closures of schools, workplaces, restaurants, and limiting the size of social gatherings. We know the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases with age and pre-existing medical conditions, so my advice on physical distancing for those over 60 or chronically ill has not changed. But everyone should be acting on this new data and our younger, healthier population should be taking physical distancing seriously.
If you haven’t taken social distancing seriously, it’s time to.
This new data is out of the United States were researchers looked at 2,449 of the first non-imported US cases reported to the CDC between February 12-March 16 2020 [1, 2].
29% of these cases were among persons age 20-44, 5% were younger than 20, and 36% were age 44-65. In the US we currently have no deaths reported among persons age 19 or younger. The youngest death reported worldwide was a 14-year-old in China. 
“This first preliminary description of outcomes among patients with COVID-19 in the United States indicates that fatality was highest in persons aged ≥85, ranging from 10% to 27%, followed by 3% to 11% among persons aged 65–84 years, 1% to 3% among persons aged 55-64 years, <1% among persons aged 20–54 years, and no fatalities among persons aged ≤19 years.” 
Younger people may feel more confident in their ability to fight off a virus like this, but this new information shows us that this may not be true. While it is still important that our younger generation practice physical distancing to avoid asymptomatic transmission to others, it is now clear that it is equally important that they are concerned about protecting their health. We also know that persons who smoke are experiencing more severe illness, like acute respiratory distress syndrome so now is the time to stop smoking and vaping. 
We now have over 11,000 cases across all 50 states, and 161 deaths.  it’s now more important than ever for EVERYONE to take this novel Coronavirus outbreak seriously.
Keep yourself and your family safe. Download my Coronavirus Cheat Sheet to have instant access to my Top 3 Tips to Prevent Getting the novel Coronavirus and my Top 5 Tips for Boosting Your Immune System so you can stay safe and healthy in the event you are exposed.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Severe Outcomes Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) — United States, February 12–March 16, 2020.” CDC. March 18. Accessed March 19, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e2.htm.
- Belluck, Pam. 2020. “Younger Adults Make Up Big Portion of Coronavirus Hospitalization in U.S.” The New York Times, March 18.
- Glantz, Stanton. 2020. “Reduce your risk of serious lung disease caused by corona virus by quitting smoking and vaping.” University of California San Fransisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. March 6. Accessed March 19, 2020. https://tobacco.ucsf.edu/reduce-your-risk-serious-lung-disease-caused-corona-virus-quitting-smoking-and-vaping.
- Dong, Yuanyuan, Xi Mo, Yabin Hu, Xin Qi, Fang Jiang, Zhongyi Jiang, and Shilu Tong. 2020. “Epidemiological Characteristics of 2143 Pediatric Patients with 2019 Coronavirus Disease in China.” Pediatrics.