WHO Warns Young People are Emerging as Main Spreaders of the Coronavirus

August 20, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified August 21, 2020

According to this recent publication by The Washington Post, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday that young people are becoming the primary drivers of the spread of the novel coronavirus in many countries — a worrisome trend experts fear may grow in the United States as many colleges and schools begin to reopen.

Many nations in Asia, which had previously pushed infections to enviably low rates, have experienced surges in recent weeks at the same time that the age of those infected skewed younger.

“People in their 20s, 30s and 40s are increasingly driving the spread,” Takeshi Kasai, the WHO’s Western Pacific regional director, said. “The epidemic is changing.” Kasai noted that because symptoms are often milder in the young, many are unaware they are infected.

“This increases the risk of spillovers to the most vulnerable: the elderly, the sick, people in long-term care, people who live in densely populated urban areas and underserved rural areas,” Kasai said.

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