DENVER (CBS4) — As Colorado’s COVID-19 cases increase, trends show that teens and young adults see higher rates of infections.
Data released by the state on Wednesday, show that last week, nearly half of the new cases were people who were 20 to 40 years old. Data also showed that people over the age of 80, accounted for just under 7 percent of all cases in Colorado.
Dr. Marc Moss, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital Director of Critical Care, says right now they’re seeing a slight increase in hospital patients with COVID-19.
“That’s concerning,” Dr. Moss said. “Because that little blip going from 20 to 27, then its 30, 40 and were back up to the 160 people we had in the hospital.”
Right now, state data shows that people who are 20 to 29 years old, make up the largest group of coronavirus cases.
“I think younger people think they are immune from getting it and that’s not the case,” Dr. Moss explained. “We have seen younger people be critically ill in the intensive care unit on like support systems. So not only can younger people get the disease, they can get sick from it.”
Dr. Elizabeth Carlton with the Colorado School of Public Health said young adults usually show lesser symptoms and don’t need to be hospitalized. However, she is seeing that trend shift.
“More concerning is percent of hospitalizations of people under 40 is upwards,” Dr. Carlton said. “Which means of the people hospitalized with COVID, more and more are young people.”
Health experts agree that while COVID might not be as severe for younger people, they can still easily spread the virus unknowingly to vulnerable populations.
“If you are 25 years old you might get sick, have a cold for a day or so, but you’re going to go home and maybe infect your parents or your grandparents,” explained Dr. Moss. “Or your friend’s grandparents and then they’re going to get sick.”
A reminder that we all, no matter our age, play a role in flattening the curve.
“It’s important to realize it’s not just about you, it’s about your friends and your community,” Dr. Moss said. “Follow those four rules, wear a mask, physical distancing, wash your hands and stay home if you are sick.”