Young people urged to take virus more seriously as pandemic worsens in U.S.

While the virus is most dangerous to the elderly, it can be devastating to younger victims as well, health professionals said. Younger coronavirus patients are a widening percentage of total coronavirus hospitalizations, with those in the 18 to 49 age group growing from about 27 percent of hospitalizations the week ending March 7 to 35 percent this past week, CDC figures show.

Officials across the country — from Ohio to Arizona — said coronavirus cases among young people were spiking as many states that were slow to shut down in the early days of the pandemic threw their doors open again…

Escott said increasing numbers of young people are ending up in the ICU and on ventilators because so many are infected with the virus. Escott said some young people will be forever changed by the virus, unable to return to a normal life or work.

“This is a devastating disease, and this is not something you want to take chances with because the impact is just so variable that it’s very hard to predict who’s going to do well and who is not,” he said.