Work and World

Are Young People Safe? | Coronavirus

– This episode is supported by Kiwi Co. When COVID-19 first began to spread, much of the conversation
was around how older people, particularly those above 60
were the target of the virus. But as more stories and data
come out about young people being hospitalized or even
dying, are young people safe? Today, we’re gonna be looking
at the coronavirus data and its impact on different age groups from infection rates to
hospitalization to deaths. First, we’ll look broadly
at those under 60 years old because a lot of the
studies that have come out used that age distinction, but then we’ll look more specifically at 20 to 44 years olds, and then finally, look at those under 20 with
the data that’s available. – It’s important to remember that COVID-19 can take a serious toll on
your respiratory system. If it gets into the lungs,
the virus damages the alveoli, which are tiny sacs in your lungs that exchange oxygen into your blood. As these alveoli become
damaged by the virus, it becomes difficult to breathe, and your own immune system can sometimes make things worse by going into overdrive, also killing useful cells
and causing more fluid and blockages in the lungs. This will be important to remember later when we talk about the
lungs and immune systems of young versus old people. – So let’s take a look at some numbers. If we just take a look at the percentages of death per age group in this graph, it’s clear that the older you are, the higher the risk of death. But last month, the CDC
released the following chart, which took a month long
view at COVID-19 patients. In it, we can see that for people between the ages of 20
to 44 that get COVID-19, upwards of 20% become hospitalized. Furthermore, up to 4%
required ICU admission, and studies out of Spain
have found similar numbers with around 17% of people between 20 to 49
requiring hospitalization. – So did something
change from the beginning when we were mostly just
told that it was old people? Not really. The truth is that the
conversations started around people in China who were dying, and the early data that came in found that this was mostly the older
population and it still is. But now, we are receiving more broad data on general infections, and
serious cases, not just deaths. A recent study in Italy
of 5,000 deaths found that less than 5% of those
who died were under 60, which helps to give a little
more perspective overall a small number of people under 60, even if hospitalized are dying. But, it can still happen. Furthermore, data coming
out of New York City has shown that those
under 60 who have died, around 95% of them had some other underlying health condition. – However, this doesn’t
mean that young people aren’t being severely affected. The most recent numbers out of New York as of April 8th, 2020 show that 39% of those testing positive
are between 18 to 44. Of that group, 11% or 3,206 have become hospitalized
and 203 have died. Of that 203 deaths, 161
had underlying conditions, 16 did not and 26 are
still being reviewed. So while the number of deaths in healthy, young individuals is low, it’s important to remember
that severe illness and even hospitalization
rates are still significant. – So the chances of a young person with no underlying health
conditions dying, it’s rare, but can it happen? Yes. And as the absolutely number
of infections goes up, even though the percentage of young people who are dying is low, that absolute number is
going to increase as well. So sadly, we are going
to hear more stories about young, healthy people dying. – But what about people
specifically under 20? Well, in that same study out
of Italy of 5,000 deaths, none of them were under 20. But we know from the
headlines that there have been a handful of deaths of teens and toddlers, so it’s not impossible. In New York, two people under
18 have died as of April 8th, but both of them had
underlying conditions. So, why are there seemingly healthy young people dying at all? One theory is that some individuals just have a genetic makeup
that makes them more likely to respond badly to this
specific coronavirus. Others suggest there
may be a specific gene that alters respiratory
receptors making it easier for the virus to infect
the lungs of some people, and they also have to do with viral load, that is the actual
amount of virus particles that infects an individual. With a higher dose, it’s believed that your outcome may be worse. – But why is it generally
more rare for younger people to die in the first place? As you age, your lung
and chest muscles weaken, and the immune system slows down. Mix this with the fact that older people have a higher likelihood
of other conditions like diabetes or heart disease and the numbers start to make more sense. For kids, one theory is
that their immune systems are actually a little
underdeveloped in some ways, and so, it’s less likely
to kick into overdrive and fill the lungs with fluid. – We wanted to make this
video not to scare people, but to make sure that people understood that it can happen to young people. Even though some may show no symptoms while others only show mild symptoms, being young and healthy
doesn’t make us invincible. Many cases of young people
have included fever for weeks, absolute physical exhaustion
and trouble breathing, and we’ve yet to understand the long-term implications on health. – Even if you don’t get seriously ill, it doesn’t mean that
you can’t be a carrier and give it someone else whether they’re young or old. And as hospital systems
become full and overwhelmed, it’s possible that cases which could be treated with intensive care and regardless of their age may not because there’s
a lack of hospital staff or there’s a lack of proper equipment. So remember, even though
your odds of dying from COVID-19 may not be high, it’s important that you stay home and stay away from people in order to keep yourself safe,
to keep others safe, and to aide our hospitals
in keeping us all safe. – Now while you’re
stuck and bored at home, we have the perfect thing for you to try from our sponsor today, Kiwi Co. Kiwi Co creates these
amazing hands-on projects and kits designed to help
explore STEAM subjects. They come in monthly crates
that are created by experts and tested by kids in order to explore a new theme with each crate. Like this walking robot
that we put together from the materials in one kit we got. – There are eight different
subscription lines depending on the age group
that you’re looking for. Everything you need comes in the box, which is perfect for right now ’cause we’re all stuck at home, we don’t want to have to go out and get anything from the store. They also come with a little magazine that has all this educational information about your crate’s theme. – We also loved this soap dispenser kit. Not only do you get to assemble and understand the mechanics
of the soap dispenser, but it also teaches you
all about the history of soap and hygiene, which
feels pretty relevant right now. – Whether it’s for yourself or an amazing gift for a loved one, go to to get specific crates
free for the first month. – We’re always super excited
when we get a sponsor like this because it’s genuinely such a cool product and you guys checking them out truly does help support our show. – And it’s great for a time like right now when we all could use a little
bit of help staying inspired and stimulated by STEAM subjects. – Again, head to for your first month free. – And make sure you’re
subscribed to ASAP Science and we’ll see you next week
for a new science video. – See ya’.
– Bye. Oh my god, it’s aaargh!
Video source:

Related Articles

Back to top button