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Dr. Fauci Says COVID 'Can Be Serious in Young People'

“It isn't just the elderly and those with underlying conditions,” Fauci said.

After the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, researchers quickly realized that age and preexisting conditions played a huge part in the severity of infections. Initially, some even speculated that children were almost immune. However, in the months since we have realized that children do get infected with the virus, and in some cases, it can be serious. However, Monday night President Donald Trump made the claim that COVID "affects virtually" nobody under the age of 18. But according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, this is not the case. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

"It Can Be Serious for Young People"

"It affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems and other problems. That's what it really affects. In some states, thousands of people — nobody young. Below the age of 18, like, nobody. They have a strong immune system, who knows? Take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system. But it affects virtually nobody. It's an amazing thing," Trump declared during a rally in Ohio on Monday night. 

"It isn't just the elderly and those with underlying conditions," Fauci stated when Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked about Trump's latest claims during the CITIZEN by CNN event on Tuesday. "It can be serious in young people." 

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Young People Can Have Symptoms That Last fro Months

While "it's much, much, much less" of a problem than in other groups, he points out that there are a good number of young people with underlying conditions. "The thing we need to remember, Sanjay, that there are a number of people in our society of substantial proportion who have underlying conditions. If you look at the two groups that are at risk for serious conditions—the elderly and people at any age with underlying conditions—underlining any age," he said.

"So if you're a younger person—you know, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, and you have diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease—you are in the risk category for a serious disease," he continued. 

And, despite what many people would assume, a lot of younger people fall into the high-risk category. He explains that a "stunning" number of Americans are high-risk— "25, 30% of the population can fall into that." 

"Those people who have other underlying conditions are a substantial proportion of the population," he reiterated. "So don't just think the elderly are the problem. There are plenty of younger people who have underlying conditions that put them at risk."  Previously, Fauci has also warned that COVID-19 can cause something like chronic fatigue syndrome in patients young and old, and last for months (or possibly never end). Some have described this syndrome—which comes with aches, pains, fatigue and a feeling of dread—as a "walking death."

To keep yourself free from COVID-19, no matter your age, wear a mask, avoid crowds, wash your hands and don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah