Daily new cases in the US after having been on a decline for almost two months has surged again in the past two weeks with the count well north of 50,000. Whilst this doesn’t seem to suggest a second wave as bulk of the new cases are coming from states which are seeing a late pick up in cases, this article points to another cause for concern – the change in demographics of the infected. Unlike the earlier caseload which had a skew towards older patients, the recent surge has seen a higher proportion of younger people who until now were deemed to be relatively immune. However, as the article suggests, the higher incidence of infection among younger people could also be a reflection of wider testing than earlier and also the relatively free movement of younger folks post lifting the lockdown. The article also stresses that whilst large parts of the infected are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic still suggesting the relative immunity, the fact that they are asymptomatic elevates the risk of them infecting others, particularly the more vulnerable part of society and hence still calls for caution.
“On Wednesday, the U.S. recorded 36,880 new coronavirus cases, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began. According to the CDC, about half of new cases in Florida and Texas are among people younger than 35, many of whom are asymptomatic. California, Washington State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Colorado have also reported an increase in younger adults testing positive.
There are a few reasons public-health officials think we might be seeing this rise. One of them is that at the start of the pandemic, testing was reserved for those who were high-risk or already very ill. Testing has since become more widely available, which means more young people are being tested.
Another theory is made obvious by the timing. The rise has come as states begin to reopen bars and restaurants and as some people return to offices. People in their 20s, 30s, and 40s may feel more cavalier about socializing and returning to their workplaces, which is dangerous both because severe reactions to the virus are possible in young people, and because young people can help to spread the virus asymptomatically.”
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