GENEVA – More than 95% of people who die from coronaviruses in Europe are over 60, but young people should not be complacent, said the head of the office of the World Health Organization in Europe on Thursday.
Dr. Hans Kluge said age is not the only risk factor for catching a severe case of the virus that has brought billions into control and disrupted the global economy.
“The very idea that COVID-19 affects only the elderly is actually wrong,” he said at an online press conference in Copenhagen. “Young people are not invincible. “
These comments echo similar statements by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The United Nations health agency reports that 10% to 15% of people under the age of 50 with the disease have moderate or severe cases.
“Severe cases of the disease have been seen in people in their teens or twenties, with many needing intensive care and some unfortunately dying,” said Kluge.
He said recent statistics show that 30,098 people have died in Europe, mainly in Italy, France and Spain.
“We know that over 95% of these deaths have occurred in people over the age of 60,” he said, with more than half of the deaths over the age of 80.
Kluge said that more than 80% of those who died had at least one other underlying chronic condition such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension or diabetes.
“On a positive note, there are reports of people over the age of 100 who have been admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 and who have now – since – fully recovered,” he said.
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