The U.S. CDC has published some preliminary data on 4226 U.S. citizens diagnosed with COVID-19 between mid-Feb and mid-March, 2020. Twelve percent of those were hospitalized. The CDC confirms that those over 60–65 years old are at greatest risk of serious illness or death; nothing new there.
The startling info for me was that adults of all age groups were prone to being admitted to a hospital with the infection. For instance, the rate of hospitalization for those aged 45–64 was 25%. The hospitalization rate for those 20–44 was not fare behind at 20%.
Early on during this epidemic, we thought young adults overall didn’t get terribly sick with this illness. A 20% hospitalization rate sounds pretty sick to me. We’re still in the early phase, so the statistics will change over time. As medical resources are under increasing pressure, admission criteria will tighten up, and you may have to be sicker than these 4226 to get admitted.
Of the 4226 patients, 121 were admitted to the ICU. Twelve percent of those were aged 20–44, compared with 36% being 45–64 years old.
Fortunately, it also appears that those under 19 years old are very unlikely to require hospitalization or ICU admission.
The report doesn’t mention how many of those admitted to the ICU were on mechanical ventilation, nor how many made it out of the hospital alive.
To quote the report:
As of March 16, a total of 4,226 COVID-19 cases had been reported in the United States, with reports increasing to 500 or more cases per day beginning March 14 (Figure 1). Among 2,449 patients with known age, 6% were aged ≥85, 25% were aged 65–84 years, 18% each were aged 55–64 years and 45–54 years, and 29% were aged 20–44 years (Figure 2). Only 5% of cases occurred in persons aged 0–19 years.
Among 508 (12%) patients known to have been hospitalized, 9% were aged ≥85 years, 36% were aged 65–84 years, 17% were aged 55–64 years, 18% were 45–54 years, and 20% were aged 20–44 years. Less than 1% of hospitalizations were among persons aged ≤19 years (Figure 2). The percentage of persons hospitalized increased with age, from 2%–3% among persons aged ≤19 years, to ≥31% among adults aged ≥85 years. (Table).
Among 121 patients known to have been admitted to an ICU, 7% of cases were reported among adults ≥85 years, 46% among adults aged 65–84 years, 36% among adults aged 45–64 years, and 12% among adults aged 20–44 years (Figure 2). No ICU admissions were reported among persons aged ≤19 years. Percentages of ICU admissions were lowest among adults aged 20–44 years (2%–4%) and highest among adults aged 75–84 years (11%–31%) (Table).
Steve Parker, M.D.