Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said Tuesday that doctors and infectious disease specialists are seeing "more and more" complications with Covid-19 in young people.
Early in the outbreak in the U.S., researchers said the virus appeared to be sparing young people while being particularly severe for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
That's not the case, Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. "To think young people have no deleterious consequences is not true. We're seeing more and more complications in young people."
Fauci said he's never seen a single virus have such a wide range of symptoms.
Some people have no symptoms while "some get mild symptoms and some get symptoms enough to put them at home for a few days. Some are in bed for weeks and have symptoms even after they recover, others go to the hospital, some require oxygen, some require intensive care, some get intubated and some die," he said.
The comment came as officials say more young people are ignoring social distancing measures and testing positive. Vice President Mike Pence warned Monday that people under the age of 35, particularly in Florida and Texas, are increasingly testing positive for the coronavirus, according to ABC News.
Fauci added that young people who are asymptomatic, who never develop symptoms, can also pass the virus on to others. Young people should "care" not only for their own health risks but for the "dynamics of the outbreak," he said.
"If you get infected and spread the infection, even though you do not get sick, you are part of the process of the dynamics of an outbreak in what you might be propagating," he said. "[And] inadvertently is infecting someone who then infects someone who then is someone who is vulnerable. That could be your grandmother, your grandfather, your sick uncle, who winds up dying."
The coronavirus, which has sickened more than 2.4 million Americans, continues to rapidly spread throughout the United States.
Fauci told lawmakers that parts of the U.S. are beginning to see a "disturbing surge" in coronavirus infections. While New York state is seeing a decline in Covid-19 cases, other states are seeing a rise in cases that "reflect an increase in community spread."