Health

Young people: Wake up and read the Covid numbers in Michigan


June 30, 2020, 7:07 AM by  Alan Stamm

Here's a real-deal fact halfway through the year of Covid: The lung virus has infected more than 13,400 Michiganians in their 20s and 30s.

That's just 21% of the 63,870 state cases since March.

Most Michigan pandemic victims aged 20-39 have relatively mild symptoms and recover, though breathing difficulty or other lasting damage can result. "Evidence has shown that younger patients can experience serious and sometimes life-threatening symptoms and complications," a health research newsletter called Advisory Board posted Monday with the headline on the right above.

Only 79 Michigan residents under 40 are among the state's 5,947 fatalities linked to the disease, compared to 2,519 patients aged 80 or older.

Government leaders and doctors fear that worrisome numbers of young people minimize Covid-19 risks -- particularly now that summer brings group gatherings, including at recreational sports and reopened bars, brewpubs and restaurants. Anti-racism rallies and marches are another situation that can compromise distancing and mask-wearing. 

"Recent trends suggest infection rates are going up in the U.S. for all groups, including for younger people," Time magazine reports.


Confirmed Covid cases in Michigan, as of Monday. (Graphic: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services)

At the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases, tells CNN:

"We may need to get out the message that young people are not somehow naturally immune to this virus, although they may be at lower risk of severe infection. ...

"Everyone needs to understand that there is still some risk of severe illness, including among younger people."

Vice President Mike Pence also raises concern. "Younger Americans have been congregating in ways that may have disregarded the guidance that we gave on the federal level for all the phases of reopening businesses," he said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation," adding: "Younger Americans have a particular responsibility to make sure that they're not carrying the coronavirus into settings where they would expose the most vulnerable."

Here in Michigan, the Department of Health and Human Services gives this breakdown of confirmed Covid cases by age groups:

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