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Many of New York City's coronavirus patients are young people

Cuomo: "No one is immune" from coronavirus

Once again, young people are being reminded that in the face of coronavirus, they are not invincible. New data from NYC Health shows that people aged 18-44 account for over 40% of the city's confirmed coronavirus cases. While this age group makes up a smaller share of hospitalizations and deaths, the figure is a reminder that no one is immune to the virus — and getting it could be devastating. 

In New York City to date, people between 18 and 44 are getting COVID-19 at a rate of 514.8 cases per 100,000 people.

The next three age groups had higher rates of coronavirus cases:

  • 714.43 cases per 100,000 people ages 45 to 64
  • 717.33 cases per 100,000 people ages 65 to 75
  • 706.8 cases per 100,000 people over 75

Children age 17 and under accounted for relatively few cases — just 43.84 per 100,000. 

As of Wednesday morning, NYC Health reported 44,915 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed in the city.

While many young people are getting the coronavirus, older groups make up most of the city's hospitalizations and deaths, the NYC Health data shows. About 9% of the patients in the 18-44 age group had to be hospitalized, compared to 22% of patients 45-64, 36% of patients 65-74, and half of those 75 and over.

There have also been reports from Europe of many seemingly healthy young people getting seriously ill from the virus — and the trend seems to be continuing in the U.S.

CDC data from earlier this month showed people aged 20 to 44 accounted for 29% of the nation's cases so far. That same age group, which includes Generation Z, Millennials and part of Generation X, accounted for 20% of the coronavirus hospitalizations in the U.S., the CDC said.

One 37-year-old coronavirus patient from New York described her experiencing being of admitted to the hospital. "I have never smoked. I have never had asthma. I have never had a respiratory issue. I exercise regularly. My diet is pretty damn clean. I have never drank alcohol. I have no relevant underlying medical illness to speak of (save for the migraines - and the sinus issues). I should have been unaffected," Samantha Ment wrote on Instagram.

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Disclaimer: (tw-covid trauma) If you know me, you know I don’t actually post much about my life in much detail. This feels too important to not share. . I have never smoked. I have never had asthma. I have never had a respiratory issue. I exercise regularly. My diet is pretty damn clean. I have never drank alcohol. I have no relevant underlying medical illness to speak of (save for the migraines - and the sinus issues). I should have been unaffected. . This virus doesn’t care. For weeks it’s been attacking my body (and mind tbh) in various erratically-inconsistent ways. Subtle at first, inconvenient after that, blatantly obvious in retrospect. My official test results (once they finally did arrive) were of no surprise to my excellent long time primary doctor. She has been monitoring and managing my array of symptoms since February—when what had been a nasty sinus infection became something we couldn’t seem to resolve or confidently diagnose. . Today, doctor and I had our regular checkin (via telehealth - she can no longer bring patients into the office - the only place Ive been outside my home since early March). Today, my caring, calm, collected doctor spoke in a tone that I had never heard from her. She immediately insisted it was time for me to get to an ER. It was no longer prudent to assume I would wholly self-resolve. I didn’t argue—after weeks of dismissing such extreme suggestions from concerned well meaning friends and family—I knew she was right. We agreed that I would have Ben drive me, instead of her desire to call an emergency transport immediately. . We disconnected and straight to the ER my traumatized husband drove me. New Hospital Policy: husbands? partners? advocates? No. Not safe. Not permitted. Ben was advised to return home. Only those in need of acute treatment may enter the hospital at this time. . My fever was low-grade, hasn’t been more in weeks. Tylenol perhaps. Cough has been suppressed with an incredibly effective prescription. . None of this mattered—I couldn’t breathe. I was suffocating. My oxygen saturation was dangerously low. My chest tightening in pain with each attempt to gasp for air. . Continued below...

A post shared by Samantha Ment (@sammyschwartz) on

After monitoring her array of symptoms since February, Ment's doctor told her to go to the ER. "I didn't argue—after weeks of dismissing such extreme suggestions from concerned well meaning friends and family—I knew she was right," she wrote.

"I couldn't breathe. I was suffocating. My oxygen saturation was dangerously low. My chest tightening in pain with each attempt to gasp for air," she said. Eventually, the nurses and doctors at NY Presbyterian were able to stabilize her breathing and she recovered enough to be discharged. Ment's story, however, remains a harrowing cautionary tale for other young people who may believe catching the virus would't be that bad.

The NYC Health data, which is updated daily, isn't just broken down by age, but also sex and borough. There are currently more male patients than female. The borough of Queens has the most cases with 13,869, followed by Brooklyn (11,160), the Bronx (7,814), Manhattan (6,539) and Staten Island (2,354).

The data also show that the number of new cases confirmed each day has decreased over the last week or so, but the daily numbers of hospitalizations and deaths have mostly continued to rise as the outbreak runs its course. (NYC Health says the figures are subject to change, as there may be delays in reporting.)

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