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Do Young People Get Coronavirus?

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Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH - Blogs
By Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPHBoard-certified internistMarch 19, 2020

Yes, young people do get COVID-19.

Looking at the cases in the US from February 12th to March 16th, almost one third of people with COVID-19 were 20 to 44 years old, according to the CDC. Also concerning, 20% of those sick enough to need hospitalization were in this young adult age group.

This disease is dangerous for all of us. So, everyone needs to be careful – that means practicing social distancing. The fewer people out and about the better.

If you do have to be out in public, be careful! Keep a 6 foot distance from others to protect yourself from respiratory droplets a person might cough or sneeze. Remember, people can be infectious for up to 2 weeks without being sick.

Disinfect all high touch surfaces every day like the fridge door, your phone, toilets, and the kitchen counters. And of course, I can’t say it enough, wash your hands for 20 seconds or use a sanitizer often, and don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

If you do get sick, don’t panic. Stay home and quarantine. If you have to be around others, this is the time to wear a mask. Call your doctor to get medical advice. Don’t go to a clinic or emergency room without calling first. Protocols are changing quickly. There may be a designated place in your community to go for screening and treatment. 

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About the Author
Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH

Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH is a board-certified internal medicine doctor and a WebMD Medical Editor. She is on the team that makes sure all WebMD content is medically correct, current and understandable. She sees patients at the Women’s Wellness Clinic at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

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