Sep 10, 2020 - Health

Young adults aren't all safe from the virus

Illustration of a line of people ascending in age, with a coronavirus over the young people in the middle

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Young adults, especially those with pre-existing conditions, can still have very serious cases of the coronavirus, a new study published yesterday in JAMA Internal Medicine confirms.

Why it matters: As thousands of college students around the country catch the virus, some of them are bound to require hospitalization and, tragically, perhaps even die in the coming weeks.

By the numbers: Among adult coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital between April 1 and June 30, 5% were non-pregnant young adults between the ages of 18 and 34.

  • 57.6% of these patients were men, and 57% were Black or Latino.
  • More than a third had obesity, a quarter had morbid obesity, 18% had diabetes and 16% had hypertension.
  • 21% required intensive care while hospitalized, 10% required a ventilator, and 2.7% died.

What we're watching: Most college students who get the virus will be fine, but we're most likely going to start seeing tragic headlines soon.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the journal that published the study was JAMA Internal Medicine. 

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