Story at a glance
- The statistic comes as France is struggling to curb the outbreak.
- The health official’s comments come as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the coronavirus most seriously affects older patients.
- France has more than 5,300 coronavirus cases.
More than half of novel coronavirus patients in intensive care in France are younger than the age of 60, according to the country’s top health official.
CNN reports Jerome Salomon, the director general for health, announced the statistics Saturday night as the country saw a jump in new virus cases.
“We have counted this evening 300 serious cases in intensive care. We have serious cases also amid adults and let me remind you that more than 50 percent of people in intensive care are under 60.”
Salomon did not specify the age range of those younger than 60 in intensive care. During a news conference Monday, Salomon said France is struggling to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country and authorities were considering whether to implement a partial lockdown, according to Reuters. He said that despite the government’s recommendations, many citizens were still continuing to gather in public places.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that while health officials are still learning how COVID-19 affects people, the virus seems to affect older adults and people with underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. WHO says early reports suggest illness severity is associated with those older than 60.
A study from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) found the virus poses the greatest threat to elderly people with preexisting health issues.
WHO says that the majority of people who become infected generally experience only mild symptoms, such as cough and fever.
France has more than 5,300 cases with 127 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
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