In a conversation yesterday with Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Tony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), made a special appeal to young people to understand that if they become infected, although asymptomatic, they can infect others who may be more vulnerable . Taking necessary precautions can make the difference. Emphasizing that “we are still knee-deep in the first wave” of the coronavirus pandemic, which he described as “a surge, or a resurgence of infections superimposed on a baseline … that really never go down to where we wanted to go,” he reported that the average age of new patients has now dropped by about 15 years just over the past few months. While young people may not become seriously ill, he warned, COVID can still “put them out of action for weeks at a time.”
The fatality rate is significantly lower among Gen Y and millennials, Fauci pointed out, and many of those cases are asymptomatic. But, he cautioned, “just because you’re 21 and you may not have significant symptoms, that does not mean you can’t affect other people, and I think that’s something that we’re concerned about.” Fauci urged young people to remember that when they’re infected, there’s a likelihood that they could spread the disease to people who are at high risk of serious illness, and then, *“you’re part of the propagation of the pandemic,* so it’s your responsibility to yourself, as well as to society, to avoid infection.” (emphasis added)
An article published July 1 in JAMA Neurology indicates that young people and children can experience severe complications from novel coronavirus, manifesting secondary neurological problems, causing brain damage, which occur following a coronavirus infection. Called “COVID-19 pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome,” it is thought to be a debilitating immune response to COVID-19, similar, but worse than, the Kawasaki-like inflammatory condition that has previously been linked to young adults with coronavirus. JAMA Neurology points to increasing reports “of children developing systemic inflammatory response requiring intensive care,” South China Morning Post reported July 6. This suggests that “despite the typically mild acute infection, children may be at high risk of a secondary inflammatory syndrome.”
New Jersey physician Dr. Jen Caudle told CNN she has seen young patients suffer from strokes, shortness of breath, fatigue, or the inability to smell and taste long after recovering from acute effects of coronavirus.