DETROIT – Public health officials across the country and in Michigan are concerned about a disturbing trend appearing in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
Infections among younger people are rapidly increasing, as are hospitalizations. The outbreak linked to Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub in East Lasing is now over 100 cases. It’s a perfect example of how social behaviors more common among younger people quickly contribute to increased transmission.
On Monday, The MI Safe Start dashboard indicated that the risk phase for Lansing had been increased to high risk due to the recent one week increase about 40 new daily case per million.
The distribution of case by age group in Ingham County shows a dominance in the 20 to 29-year-old age group. Very different than the statewide graph of cases by age that shows the more typical spread of case we’ve seen during earlier months in the outbreak.
Nationwide, other states have noted a similar shift of increasing cases among younger people. The biggest concern is that this is leading to serious illness in these people. A hospital in the Houston area, where cases have spiked dangerously high, reported that 60 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are under the age of 50.
In line with that, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s data shows that between April of this year and last week the percentage of people between 18 and 49 who were hospitalized with coronavirus increased from 21 percent to 35 percent.
This increase is likely related to the behaviors of younger people, not because of anything related to the virus itself. Older people are likely doing a better job of protecting themselves and younger people are more likely to congregate without proper precautions.