What these 34-year-old and 26-year-old coronavirus patients have to say to young adults

CNN's Erin Burnett speaks with Valerie Wilson, a 34-year-old who was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, about her struggles to find treatment.

Posted: Mar 24, 2020 3:01 PM
Updated: Mar 24, 2020 3:01 PM

They thought they were too young to be concerned about coronavirus, and then they tested positive.

Valerie Wilson, 34, and Fiona Lowenstein, 26, are telling their fellow millennials that they too need to be aware of their health in the coronavirus pandemic as they recover from infection.

More than 42,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in the United States, with at least 541 deaths -- and the numbers are climbing. Early testing showed that people with chronic conditions and older people were the most at risk for severe illness. But younger people are also getting sick and spreading the illness.

Wilson, a travel expert, brushed off her symptoms when she first got sick, she told CNN's Erin Burnett. She was overly tired and had a low fever but didn't think much of it.

Until she lost her sense of taste and smell completely.

Her doctor said she didn't sound like she had the virus, but after developing a strong cough, she was back at the office -- rushing in without an appointment.

"I just broke down in tears and told them I was really scared. With no hesitation, they tested me off the bat," she said.

She has Lyme disease and an autoimmune disorder, and said it was scary knowing those kinds of conditions can send people to the emergency room.

And while she says it is important for younger people to do their part and stay home to protect their loved ones, she also warned that their own health could likely be a concern as well.

"Young people need to understand that by the age of 30, I'd say there's a good portion of us that do have some sort of underlying condition so we all need to be aware that we could have something that makes us a little bit weaker to this virus," she said.

Lowenstein thought that her role in the pandemic would be limited to an ally for those most at risk, she told CNN's Don Lemon. But on March 13, she developed a fever.

She stayed home until she got to the point that she could barely eat or speak because it was too much strain for how short her breath had become. By the time she got to a doctor, she had to be admitted for two nights.

Though she is feeling better now, she has to be isolated until she tests negative for the virus.

Statistics for severe illness and fatalities of young adults from coronavirus are more promising than several other populations, but recent reports show they are still at risk.

A report released Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a smaller -- but still significant -- number of young people in the US faced serious complications. Twenty percent of those hospitalized with the virus, according to the CDC, were between 20 and 44 years old.

On Wednesday, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, pointed to "concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill, and very seriously ill in the ICUs."

And those feeling more at ease congregating at beaches, parks and restaurants are likely contributing to the virus's spread.

Birx called on "the millennial generation, our largest generation, our future generation" to practice social distancing and "really ensure that each and every one of you are protecting each other."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
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