Young, middle-aged adults biggest COVID-19 spreaders, study finds

As of October 2020, the majority of U.S. COVID-19 infections originated from people between the ages of 20 and 49, according to a report published Feb. 3 in Science Magazine. 

Researchers analyzed age-specific mobility trends from more than 10 million people in the U.S. and found until mid-August, before schools reopened, people aged 35-49 contributed to 41.1 percent of COVID-19 infections. Those aged 20-35 contributed to nearly 35 percent of infections, making those in the 20-49 age group responsible for about 76 percent of COVID-19 infections. 

By October, when many states lifted school closure mandates, adults aged 20-49 still accounted for about 72 percent of COVID-19 infections, the study showed. 

"The primary mechanisms underlying the high reproduction numbers from 20-49-year-olds are that at population level, adults aged 20-49 naturally have most contacts to other adults aged 20 and above, which are more susceptible to COVID-19 than younger individuals, paired with increasing mobility trends for these age groups since April 2020," researchers wrote. 

In light of the findings, researchers suggest rapid mass vaccinations for adults aged 20-49 may keep COVID-19 resurgences under control. 

To view the full study, click here.

More articles on public health:
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AstraZeneca vaccine cuts virus transmission; COVID-19 deaths fall in 25 states — 5 updates
Only 5% of COVID-19 vaccines given went to Black Americans


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