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Students in Boulder, Colorado, on Aug. 18. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The World Health Organization warned at a news briefing on Tuesday that "people in their 20s, 30s and 40s" are increasingly the primary spreaders of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The words of caution come as schools and colleges across the United States weigh the risks of in-person classes, which could exacerbate the trend of young people transmitting the virus.

What they're saying: "The epidemic is changing," Takeshi Kasai, the WHO’s Western Pacific regional director, said. "Many are unaware they’re infected — with very mild symptoms or none at all. This can result in them unknowingly passing on the virus to others."

  • "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 under-served rural areas. We must redouble efforts to stop the virus from moving into vulnerable communities."

The big picture: About half of the clusters in a study of outbreaks in Japan were traced back to people aged 20–39 at karaoke bars, offices and restaurants — and 41% of them did not have symptoms at the time.

Go deeper: More young people are getting — and spreading — the coronavirus

Go deeper

Nov 26, 2020 - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Nov 26, 2020 - Health

California officials plan to relocate thousands of homeless people from hotels

A homeless man stands outside tents on Skid Row in Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 25. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

California officials say they plan to shut down many of the hotels that have housed over 23,000 homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reports.

The big picture: U.S. cities have bought up vacant hotels, apartments and other buildings to ease the burden on shelters of housing homeless people during the pandemic, as many centers have struggled to follow CDC guidelines and are accepting less people to allow for social distancing.

Nov 26, 2020 - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.