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Teens and the Risk for Covid-19

As the country grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are all waiting to hear what will happen with regard to schools and our own state’s social distancing orders. In the meantime, you might be wondering about your risk for contracting Covid-19.

Yes, children and teens can catch the virus. You might have heard that younger people aren’t getting sick, but that’s not exactly true. While the vast majority of serious cases and deaths occur in the older population, children and teens can contract the novel coronavirus.

The stats do show that your age group stands a low chance of serious complications or death, but those outcomes are not impossible. While there’s no need to panic, you definitely want to protect yourself just as much as anyone else would.

Children and teens can spread the virus. For your age group, contracting a mild infection and spreading the illness is the major risk associated with Covid-19. Most younger people (though not all) who contract Covid-19 experience milder symptoms. You might feel as though you have a cold (fever, cough, and sore throat). You might even have such a mild infection that you don’t notice it at all. While that sounds like good news, the danger is that you can spread it to a parent, friend, or someone else who faces a more significant risk.

Pre-existing conditions are significant risk factors. For those with autoimmune conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, or cancer, Covid-19 can be deadly. Even if you don’t have one of these conditions, someone near you might (even a stranger at the mall, for example). Since this particular coronavirus can suspend in the air for several hours, and live on surfaces up to four days, it is extremely contagious. Someone who is a silent carrier or has only a mild infection could spread the virus to dozens or even hundreds of people. And that is why we are asked to practice social distancing right now.

So please, do your part to prevent the spread of Covid-19. We do want you to enjoy your spring break, but we all need to do so in accordance with current social distancing recommendations. If we all address this problem together, it will disappear sooner and life can go back to normal.

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