Here's Who Gets COVID First in Outbreaks, Study Finds
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the country, understanding how the virus works, who is most likely to get it, and how it often spreads to smooth the curve is critical. Researchers have recently spent some time studying larger outbreaks across the country and they have managed to identify the group of people most likely to get the virus first: young adults.
According to a study the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in their Weekly Report on Morbidity and Mortality (MMWR) last week, an increase in infections in younger Americans can usually predict an outbreak. Read on and don't miss these safe signs you've already had with coronavirus to ensure your health and the health of others.
Increase in cases of young people with predicted surges
"It is important to understand whether an increasing incidence in hotspot countries is predominantly in certain age groups in order to identify ways to prevent or reduce transmission," explains the study.
For the study, the CDC therefore analyzed trends in the positivity rate - a precursor to infections, hospitalizations and the death rate - by age group in 767 hotspot countries before and after they were identified as such. They found that an early increase in the positivity rate in people under the age of 24 often predicted an increase in cases in people over the age of 25.
Overall, "the increase in percent positivity in older age groups began after the increase in younger age groups: in adults aged 25 to 44 years, 45 to 64 years, and ≥ 65 years, the increase began 28 days, 23 days and 20 days, respectively the hotspot identification. "
"In hotspot countries, especially in the south and west, percent positivity increased the earliest in younger people, followed by several weeks of increasing percent positivity in older age groups," they continued. "An increase in the percentage of positive test results in older age groups is likely to lead to more hospitalizations, serious illnesses and deaths."
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Peer pressure is partly to blame
Another MMWR report attempted to understand why younger people are more likely to spread the virus and interviewed people in Winnebago County, Wisconsin during an outbreak. The researchers claimed that "a perceived low severity of disease progression, perceived responsibility to others, peer pressure, and exposure to misinformation, conflicting messages, or opposing views regarding masks have been identified as drivers of behaviors that increase the risk for COVID-19 Exposure in young adults. "
Hence, more emphasis needs to be placed on reducing the rate of infection in younger people - and education could be key.
"Combating transmission among young adults is an urgent public health priority," the CDC writes in its first report. As for yourself, for the healthiest way through this pandemic, don't miss these 35 places that are most likely to catch COVID.
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