More young people suffering from virus

More young people suffering from virus

More young people are becoming critically ill with coronavirus, the World Health Organization reports, as the number of deaths is going up 50,000 worldwide.

The International Health Organization says that individuals in their 30s, 40s and 50s are admitted to intensive care for the disease and die despite having no underlying health problems.

Experts, however, said the majority of people dealing with serious illness still appear to be older and have other health concerns.

WHO's emergency program executive director Mike Ryan said one in six COVID-19 deaths in Korea were people under the age of 60.

And over the past six weeks in Italy, at least 10 to 15 per cent of people with the disease in intensive care units were under 50, he said Friday at a press conference in Geneva.

"It's not that anything has changed," Dr Ryan said.

"It's that we collectively have been living in a world where we have tried to convince ourselves that this disease is mild and more severe in older people.

"But I think the evidence has been there all along," he said.

"There is a spectrum of severity."

WHO's COVID-19 technical lead Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said there were still many unknowns about why young people were dying.

"We are seeing more and more younger individuals who are experiencing severe disease," she said.

"I should say, overall, most of the people who are experiencing severe disease and ending up in ICU are people of older age, and are people who have underlying conditions.

"But what we are seeing in some countries, individuals who are in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are in ICUs and have died."
She said the WHO needs to better understand why young people are dying from the infection, adding "there are still many unknowns at this present time".

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund told the press conference that because of the pandemic the world's economy had come to a standstill.

Kristalina Georgieva characterized the situation as "humanity's darkest hour" and said that the world was more serious in a recession than in the financial crisis of 2008.

"This is a crisis like no other, never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy coming to a standstill," she said.

"We are now in recession. It is way worse than the global financial crisis. It is a crisis that requires all of us to come together."

More than one million confirmed cases of coronavirus have now been recorded around the world, WHO said.