Dr. Fauci Says the Average Age of COVID-19 Patients Has Plummeted to This
"The average age of people getting infected now is a decade and a half younger than it was a few months ago."
In recent weeks, coronavirus cases have been surging in many places across the country. And the numbers show that people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are behind the recent surges. The trend began in mid-June and has continued ever since, leading Anthony Fauci, MD, to reveal recently that the average age of U.S. coronavirus patients has dropped by a whopping 15 years.
Fauci participated in a Q&A discussion with Francis Collins, MD, director of the National Institutes of Health, on Monday, and noted that "the average age of people getting infected now is a decade and a half younger than what it was a few months ago, particularly when New York and New Orleans and Chicago were getting hit very badly."
While young people are less likely to develop serious illnesses from COVID-19, Fauci warned that "young people should not feel like they're invulnerable to serious consequences." He added that the virus could still "put them out of action for weeks at a time."
Fauci said that it's asymptomatic young people specifically who are "propagating the outbreak." "Inadvertently or innocently, they could infect someone and then all of sudden, someone's grandmother or grandfather or aunt who's getting chemotherapy for breast cancer gets infected," he explained.
Watch Fauci's comments here, courtesy of CNBC:
In late June, Fauci told Axios that what's likely to happen is the young people "get infected first, then they come home, and then they infect the older people. The older people get the complications, and then they go to the hospitals." And that's when he expects to see death rates climb again. "The death rate always lags several weeks behind the infection rate," he said.
Around the same time, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Biology professor Erin Bromage, PhD, told CNN that "18 to 44 year olds are being infected at a really high rate" and are fueling the pandemic.
"The 20- to 40-year-olds appear to be spreading the infection unperceived. They are just as easily infected as the elderly, but much more likely to show no or mild symptoms," Bromage wrote for CNN. "People in these age groups are the ones who have allowed the virus to smolder through our communities and erupt into flames when they make contact with a susceptible population." And for more on this, check out This One Thing Is Most Likely to Dictate Your Chances of Dying From COVID.