COVID-19 cases among young adults in US rise 55% in August: CDC

COVID-19 cases among young adults in US rise 55% in August: CDC

People wear protective masks as they wait in line at a testing site for the coronavirus disease
People wear protective masks as they wait in line at a testing site for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) set up for returning students, faculty and staff on the main New York University (NYU) campus in Manhattan, New York City, New York, on Aug 18, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

NEW YORK: Coronavirus cases among young adults rose steadily across the United States in recent weeks as universities reopened, suggesting the need for this group to take more measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a US health agency said.

Universities that want to reopen for in-person learning need to implement mitigation steps such as mask wearing and social distancing to curb the spread of the virus among young adults, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in the report.

Between Aug 2 and Sep 5, weekly cases of COVID-19 among people aged 18 to 22 rose 55.1 per cent. The Northeast region recorded a 144 per cent increase in COVID-19 cases, while Midwest cases rose 123.4 per cent, the report said.

The uptick in cases was not solely attributable to increased testing and could be linked to some universities resuming in-person attendance, the CDC researchers said. They also said transmission could also be among young adults not attending college.

Previous reports identify young adults as being less likely to adhere to prevention measures, the report said.

In a separate study published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on Tuesday, researchers reported a rapid rise of COVID-19 cases two weeks after a North Carolina university opened its campus to students.

The study found that between Aug 3 and Aug 25, the university reported 670 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, with preliminary investigations finding that student gatherings and congregate living settings likely contributed to the spread.

On Aug 19, classes moved online and the school began to reduce density of on-campus housing. No COVID-19 patient from the university was hospitalised or had died, the researchers said.

The authors of both studies suggest the need for enhanced measures to reduce transmission among young adults and at institutes of higher education.

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Source: Reuters

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