Many New York coronavirus patients are young, surprising doctors

New York has more confirmed cases than anywhere else in the U.S., and about 1 in 5 hospitalizations are occurring in people under age 44, according to data released by the city’s health department. Globally, moderate-to-severe cases have occurred in 10% to 15% of adults under age 50, according to the World Health Organization.

On Friday at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital, a previously healthy 32-year-old male patient turned to doctor Kaedrea Jackson and asked: “Am I going to die?”

The young man, who had no underlying medical conditions, was short of breath with a fever, and his oxygen levels were dropping rapidly. He’d come to the hospital’s emergency department four days earlier but was told to go home, drink water, take Tylenol and self-isolate. Now he was back and his condition was deteriorating. “The level of fear in his eyes stood out to me,” Jackson, an emergency medicine physician, recalled in an interview Tuesday. “He was extremely scared. And he was so young.”