WASHINGTON — There are some new numbers out about who is being infected with the coronavirus in our area. And it might surprise you. Despite some people’s beliefs COVID-19 mostly targets older citizens, the raw data tells a different story.
WUSA9 crunched the numbers from D.C.’s Government’s Daily Coronavirus Report.
Since Friday, there have been a total of 69 new cases of COVID-19 in the District. Of those, more than 60% were under the age of 40. And six of those patients were 13 or younger.
In Maryland, the available numbers didn’t drill down that far. But WUSA9 did learn that the vast majority of all cases have been diagnosed in patients between the ages of 18-64. Virginia’s health department said it didn’t have an age breakdown on its coronavirus cases right now, but plans to provide more detailed information in the future.
Dr. Cliff Mitchell, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said researchers have been expecting the younger patients. He added it’s unclear if a lack of social distancing among the younger population plays a role.
“Well, I think that concern has been raised recently by pictures of spring break in Florida,” he said, referring to images of beaches full of college students.
And while the earliest trends from China showed the majority of deaths occurred in patients age 60 or older, or those with underlying health issues, that doesn't mean younger people won’t get really sick from coronavirus either.
A March 16 report from the Centers for Disease Control reveals 20% of patients hospitalized were between the ages 20 and 44, including 26-year-old New York City resident Fiona Lowenstein. She had no underlying health conditions, but still ended up in the hospital with COVID-19.
“At some point during this crisis we have all not taken it seriously,” Lowenstein told CBS This Morning.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the largest age group hospitalized continues to skew older, between 65 and 84 years old.
But that data was from mid-February to mid-March, before confirmed cases of coronavirus shot up here in the U.S.