Over 95 percent of those who died from the novel corona virus in Europe are over 60 years old, but young people should not be complacent, the head of the World Health Organization Office in Europe said on Thursday.
Dr. Hans Kluge said that age is not the only risk factor for a serious case of the virus that has blocked billions and stimulated the global economy.
“The idea that Covid-19 only affects the elderly is factually wrong,” he said at an online press conference in Copenhagen. “Young people are not invincible.”
The comments reflected similar statements made by WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
According to the UN health agency, 10 to 15 percent of people under the age of 50 with this disease have moderate or severe cases.
“Serious cases of the disease have been seen in people as young as teenagers or 20 years old, with many requiring intensive care and some unfortunately dying,” said Kluge.
He said recent statistics showed that nearly 31,000 people died in Europe, mainly in Italy, France and Spain.
“We know that over 95 percent of these deaths occurred in people over the age of 60,” he said, with more than half of the deaths over 80.
Kluge said that more than 80 percent of those who died had at least one other underlying chronic condition, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
“On a positive note, people over the age of 100 have been hospitalized for Covid-19 and have since then fully recovered,” he said.