More than a quarter of young adults infected with coronavirus have developed pneumonia, a study by South Korean researchers has found.
Their study of 315 patients aged 18 to 39 at six hospitals in February and March found 26% of them had pneumonia. In South Korea, everyone who tested positive for coronavirus, even those with no symptoms, were hospitalized early in the pandemic.
“Severe pneumonia presented in 2% of cases, and one patient with no other medical history required mechanical ventilation. Young people should also be aware of the risk of pneumonia or severe pneumonia due to Covid-19,” the researchers wrote in a summary of their work prepared for presentation next week at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Conference on Coronavirus Disease.
Of the patients with pneumonia, 23% still had abnormal chest x-rays 10 days after their first diagnosis, the researchers said. And one patient who did not have symptoms at first later developed pneumonia.
While young adults are less likely than older people to develop severe coronavirus symptoms, the researchers said their findings show the infection can be serious even in healthy young adults.