Young people are spreading the virus ‘unknowingly’: WHO warns

The spread of coronavirus has been mushroomed by people aged in their 20s, 30s and 40s who are unaware they are infected because they have no or mild symptoms, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

People in this age group are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms of COVID-19, they unknowingly pass on the virus to others, Takeshi Kasai, WHO’s regional director for the Western Pacific said on Tuesday.

“This increases the risk of spillovers to the most vulnerable, the elderly, the sick in long-term care, people who live in densely populated urban areas and underserved rural areas.”

An analysis of six million cases with detailed information reported to the WHO between February 24 and July 12 showed an increase in the proportion of children and young people infected.

“While we see differences across regions, we do see a consistent shift towards more younger people being reported among COVID-19 cases,” WHO said in a statement.

“There are a few possible explanations for these trends, including a rise in risky behaviour among young people after lockdowns and other public health and social measures were lifted, expanded availability of testing, and an increased spread of COVID-19 across communities,” it added.

Globally coronavirus has infected over 22.44 million people, with more than 787,000 deaths.