Thursday | 14 May | 2020
By Marli Naidoo
The outbreak of the new coronavirus, Covid-19, has everyone scratching their heads. The questions are still more than the answers, but fortunately there are researchers, scientists and strategists who are working day and night to provide more answers daily.
One of the most confusing topics regarding Covid-19 is the seriousness of the infection, and the chance of young people contracting the virus.
What we do know is that people of all ages can contract the virus. Older people and people with existing medical conditions seem to be more vulnerable, and can become more ill should they contract Covid-19.
The National Institute for Infectious Diseases has released the following data. These statistics refer to South Africa.
24.4% of the deaths caused by Covid-19 fall in the 60-69 age group, 22.7% in the 70-79 age group, 18.7% in the 50-59 age group, 15.5% in the 40-49 group, 11.4% in the 80-89 group, 4.9% in the 30-39 age group, and 0.8% in the 20-29 age group. There have been no deaths nationally in patients under the age of 19 years.
These percentages may change as infections and deaths increase.
Younger people and children however play an important role in combating the spread of the virus. If a healthy young person should contract Covid-19 and then come into contact with older or more vulnerable people, those people could not only fall sick, but the chances are greater that they could become seriously ill, of even die.
Younger, healthy individuals therefore have a social responsibility to stay home, wear masks and avoid contact with granddads, grandmas and person with a low immune system. Also make sure that you are tested for Covid-19 should you experience any of the symptoms.
National Institute for Communicable Diseases: https://www.nicd.ac.za/covid-19-update-46/
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/images/default-source/health-topics/coronavirus/myth-busters/mythbuster-2.png
American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.aappublications.org/news/2020/03/19/coronavirus031920
* All information was correct at the time of publication.