COVID-19, a respiratory illness which began in China about three months ago, has killed at least 140 people in the United States, according to ABC News’ count.

Early data analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that younger Americans are at substantial risk of experiencing serious medical problems from the coronavirus sweeping the globe.

That data runs counter to some of the early messaging from public health officials in other parts of the world.

The Hill: A new CDC analysis of more than 2,400 cases of COVID-19 that have occurred in the United States in the last month shows that between 1 in 7 and 1 in 5 people between the ages of 20 and 44 in the sample of those who are confirmed cases require hospitalization, a level significantly higher than the hospitalization rates for influenza.

Between 2 percent and 4 percent of confirmed cases among people that young are admitted to intensive care units. The fatality rate is low, only 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent.

younger Americans are contracting the virus at the same rates as those who are older. The initial round of data actually found more people between the ages of 20 and 44 who landed in the hospital than those over the age of 75 who wound up in treatment, even though mortality rates were lower for the younger set.



“Lots of young people are getting hospitalized, a lot more than we’re messaging, and, yes, maybe you don’t die, but living with a damaged lung or damaged organ is not a good outcome,” said Prabhjot Singh, a physician and health systems expert at Mount Sinai Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine.

Deborah Birx, one of the Trump administration’s top experts on its coronavirus task force, said Wednesday that early data from France and Italy, both dealing with thousands of coronavirus cases, seemed to underscore the threat to younger people.

“There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill and very seriously ill in the ICUs,” Birx said at a White House briefing. She did not offer further details.

More than 8,700 people in the United States have been infected with coronavirus, and that number changes significantly by the hour.

Wednesday was the worst day yet for new cases, with more than 2,300 reported between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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