WHO Says 95 Percent of Coronavirus Deaths in Europe Were People Over 60 Years Old

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In Europe, the vast majority of fatalities caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are people older than 60, health officials reported.

On Thursday, Dr. Hans Kluge of the World Health Organization’s regional office for Europe said during a press conference that about 95 percent of the continent’s coronavirus-related deaths have been those over 60, according to the Associated Press.

Per Kluge’s update, more than half of those who died were over the age of 80, and 80 percent of victims had some other underlying condition that made them more susceptible.

“On a positive note,” Kluge said, according to the AP, “there are reports of people over the age of 100 who were admitted to hospital for COVID-19 and have now since made a complete recovery.”

Kluge also stated that young people should still not discount the severity of the contagious respiratory virus.

“The very notion that COVID-19 only affects older people is factually wrong; young people are not invincible” said Kluge. “… Severe cases of the disease have been seen in people in their teens or 20s, with many requiring intensive care and some, unfortunately, passing away.”

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Luca Bruno/AP/Shutterstock An elderly patient is helped by a doctor in Brescia, Italy, on March 12.

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According to data compiled by The New York Times, there have been more than 946,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and some 47,000 deaths worldwide, as of April 2.

Several European countries have been hit hardest by the virus, including Italy with 13,155 deaths and Spain with 10,003 deaths, according to the New York Times.

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Earlier this month, a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that, even if they are less likely to die, young people are not immune to becoming seriously sickened by COVID-19.

The CDC findings, according to the Times, showed that 38 percent of patients hospitalized by the virus at the time were between the ages of 20 and 54.

And since symptoms don’t even present themselves in a portion of those infected by the virus, someone seemingly healthy could spread the virus to more at-risk people if not practicing social distancing and proper public health protocols.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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