As New South Wales recorded its first case of coronavirus in a child aged under 10 on Wednesday, new data from America has show young people are just as likely to be treated in hospital for COVID-19.
Tarek Soliman, a young, fit New Yorker has been left coughing blood and struggling to survive after COVID-19 entered his lungs, causing pneumonia.
Mr Soliman started to feel weak on March 8.
He had chills, a headache and a fever, so assumed it was a bad flu.
“After the fifth day I went to urgent care because my symptoms have been getting worse,” Mr Soliman said.
“By the time the doctor started running some tests, I fainted and they called the ambulance.
“After four days I got my test result back that I am positive.
“I still have the same symptoms with no progress, but I started developing pneumonia and can’t breathe normally.
“Because there is no cure, it was followed by coughing blood. Now I have no fever but I still can’t breathe normally.
“Apparently the virus has spread into my lungs.”
He’s now back in hospital fighting for his life.
He wants young people across the world to know they need to take coronavirus seriously.
And that even if you live, the experience is horrible.
“This isn’t something small we are dealing with – be responsible and stay home,’’ he said.
“I don’t want anyone to go through what I am going through now.”
His call to arms came as new data revealed that becoming infected isn’t just a worry for the elderly.
On Wednesday, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in America released data showing 47 per cent of all COVID-19 hospital admissions in the US were from those aged 20 to 54.
Younger patients are just as likely to end up in hospital. And they’re also more likely to get it, according to the report.
Of the 2449 cases the CDC looked at between February 12 and March 16, those aged 20 to 44 had the highest number of cases, with 705.
Of those admitted to intensive care, 36 per cent were aged 45 to 64 years, and 12 per cent were aged 20 to 44 years.
“Clinicians who care for adults should be aware that COVID-19 can result in severe disease among persons of all ages,” read the report, titled Severe Outcomes Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019.
“Social distancing is recommended for all ages to slow the spread of the virus.”
It comes as New South Wales on Wednesday recorded its first cases in two children, including a two-month-old boy.
“We have got two children that are under the age of 10 years have been confirmed on 24 March (Tuesday),” NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said.
“A two-month-old boy who was tested following close contact with a confirmed adult case has had minimal symptoms and he’s isolated at home.
“In a separate unrelated case, we have a seven-year-old girl who was tested following close contact with a confirmed adult case and, again, has minimal symptoms and isolated at home.”
The World Health Organisation has warned against complacency among younger people after media reports from many countries showed young people ignoring the social distancing instructions.
“Although older people are hardest hit, younger people are not spared,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told an online news conference recently.
“I have a message for young people: You are not invincible, this virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you.
“Even if you don’t get sick, the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else.”