World Health Organization officials warned young people Friday that although they’re less likely to die from the novel coronavirus, they are still at risk of severe illness.

“You’re not invincible,” said WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference on COVID-19.

“One of the things that we are learning is that although older people are the hardest-hit, younger people are not spared. Data from many countries clearly show that people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalization,” he said.

“This virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you.”

One recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 40 per cent of hospitalized patients were aged 20 to 54.

Canada’s own data shows that 21 per cent of cases are in people aged 20-39, as of March 19, though the numbers from the Public Health Agency of Canada don’t mention how severe their illness was.

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