World Health Organization expert Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove has said, ‘More and more’ young people experiencing severe disease, WHO warns and there are still many unknowns at this time,’ says expert Maria said in a press conference in Geneva.
“Overwhelmingly we do see a trend across countries that people who are older, people who have underlying conditions…have a higher risk of death,” added Dr Maria .
Officials said they were trying to “better understand” why apparently healthy patients aged under 60 ended up in intensive care units (ICU) with the disease.
“Overall, most of the people who are experiencing severe disease and ending up in ICU are people of older age, and are people who have underlying conditions. But what we are seeing in some countries, individuals who are in their thirties, forties and fifties who are in ICUs and have died.
It comes after a 13-year-old boy with no apparent health problems died in a London hospital on Monday. His immediate family were unable to attend the funeral because they were in self-isolation. In Korea, one in six Covid-19 deaths are among people under the age of 60, the WHO said.
In Italy around 10 to 15 per cent of people who ended up in intensive care units (ICU) with the virus were aged under 50.However Dr Van Kerkhove also urged caution in comparing death rates around the world, saying that ”we have some time to go before we can really understand what mortality looks like across different countries”.
Dr Mike Ryan also stressed that the majority of people who experience severe illness tend to be older and with pre-existing health problems.
“It’s not that anything has changed,” he added. “It’s that we collectively have been living in a world where we have tried to convince ourselves that this disease is mild and more severe in older people.