The effects of COVID-19 on young people are “worse than the worst of AIDS,” a doctor says

Young adults may think that their age group is not at risk from COVID-19, but new research shows that dangerous perception is wrong. Deaths among people ages 25 to 44 climbed to historic highs in the first months of the pandemic, and July is perhaps the deadliest month for young adults in modern-day American history.

According to the analysis published in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, from March 1 to July 31, 2020, there were 11,899 more deaths from all causes than would normally be expected in that period among U.S. adults between 25 and 44 years. July saw more than 16,000 deaths in that age group, compared to a July average of about 11,000.

Dr. Jeremy Samuel Faust, an emergency medical physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, was one of the authors of that study and also co-wrote an op-ed about it for the New York Times with the title ” People Thought Covid-19 Was Almost Harmless To Younger Adults. They Were Wrong. “

He told CBSN that young adult mortality rates are among the pandemic compared to other devastating times: the highest rate of HIV / AIDS crisis.

“Every month is worse than the worst rate of AIDS we have had for this young population, which I think is something that most people are not aware of. still wrapped around, “Faust said.

In 1995, HIV infection was the leading cause of death among Americans ages 25 to 44 and accounted for 19% of deaths from all causes in this age group. At that time there were about 13,000 young Americans dying every month, Faust said, “And we’ve just passed that this year. And it ‘s not just because the population is bigger. It’s very similar in that age group, we have 16,000 [deaths per month]; 15,000 in the fall. “

Faust said that despite these alarming numbers, the largest demographic affected by COVID-19 is still aged 65 or older. The death rate for the elderly is many times higher than for the younger ones. But thousands of young adults are still dying from it. And the an alarming number of cases nationwide means that it is just a matter of time before most of us know someone who has contracted COVID-19.

“You may not know anyone who has it yet, depending on where you are in the country, but once COVID has reached your area of ​​the country, you know more than one person , “he said. “This is one of those things, before you meet someone, you’ll have wished you hadn’t, because it will be everywhere.”

Second coronavirus vaccine, from Moderna, they could start rolling out in the U.S. next week, and just like the Pfizer vaccine, health care workers and other high-priority recipients will receive the first line of receipt of the photographs. Young people who are considered healthy would not be on that priority list, but are a group that is considered “silent spreaders.”

“It’s a big concern because we say, this is the age group that has to wait the longest for the vaccine… has the greatest chance of spreading it to others who have not yet vaccines, and also themselves a very real risk of serious illness, “Faust said.

So, while young adults are waiting for the opportunity to be vaccinated, Faust said it is up to them to think about the choices they are making and the potential impact on them. grandparents, parents, peers – and on their own lives.

“Early in this crisis … the message to young people was, You can quietly pass it on to someone who can’t afford it. So don’t think for yourself, think about the person you might catch, who will never forgive yourself if you lost them because of that.That has been a message we have been trying to send out for a long time.

“But with this new data that we’ve published, that ‘s that and more. That’ s what it is and also: It could be for you.”