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People aged between 20-49 years most likely to spread coronavirus

Often young people have milder symptoms and because of this many didn’t even know when they are infected.

Because high infection rates are seen among 20-49 age group, researchers stress the need to vaccinate people belonging to this age group to control COVID-19 infections.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : February 8, 2021 1:50 PM IST

The novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, doesn't affect everyone in the same way. Older adults aged 60 years and above, and those with chronic health conditions seem to be affected more severely by the deadly disease. Although COVID-19 symptoms tend to be milder in younger adults, they likely play a bigger role in transmission of the virus. In fact, a recent study revealed that the people aged between 20 and 49 years old are most likely to spread the deadly virus.

After remaining shut for months due to the pandemic, schools started reopening in some parts of the world post-October 2020. The study found that as the US gradually relaxes COVID-19 restrictions, adults in the age group of 20 to 49 accounted for 72.2 per cent of infection in the country.

While people aged between 20-34 accounted 34 per cent of the total infections, those between 35-49 contributed 38.2 per cent. Children and teens were less likely to spread the disease. According to the study, children aged 0-9 contributed just 2.7 per cent of infections, and 7.1 per cent came from teens aged 10-19.

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Because high infection rates are seen among 20-49 age group, the study stressed the need to vaccinate people belonging to this age group to control COVID-19 infections.

The researchers believe that vaccinating these people could help reduce the spread of the virus. The study, published in Science Magazine, added that controlling the spread of the virus in this age group would also help reopen schools safely.

Young adults spreading infections to older people

Last year in September, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reported that young adults are driving coronavirus infections in the country and are likely spreading the virus to older, more vulnerable populations. The report noted that people in their 20s accounted for the largest share of confirmed cases compared to other age groups.

The CDC report also confirmed young adults are spreading the infections in older people who are much more likely to be hospitalized and die from COVID-19.

CDC experts at that time had predicted the possibility of infections popping up when more colleges and universities start reopening, and more students return to campuses.

Around the same time, the World Health Organization had warned that young people are driving the spread of the novel coronavirus in many countries.

Beware! Younger people may develop severe and lasting symptoms too

Often young people have milder symptoms and because of this many didn't even know when they are infected. This increases the risk of spreading to the most vulnerable populations, including the elderly and sick people.

Those with mild Covid-19 symptoms such sore throat, congestion and runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and headache to a low-grade fever and cough are recommended to stay home and stay isolated to avoid spreading the infection to others.

Those with severe Covid-19 symptoms high fever, severe cough, and possibly shortness of breath often need hospitalisation.

Although young patients are less likely to be hospitalized or die because of COVID-19, experts have warned that some may develop severe and lasting symptoms, particularly those who are obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension).

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