Although health authorities have warned that seniors are the most at risk of facing severe symptoms due to a COVID-19 infection, it turns out that younger people might not be all that much safer. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at U.S. cases between Feb. 12 and March 16, and the results showed that around 38% of COVID-19 hospitalization cases were people younger than 55.

Elsewhere around the world, the data is even more compelling. Earlier this week, French health ministry officials warned that around half of the 400 or so COVID-19 patients in intensive care units in Paris hospitals were under 65. A similar statistic can be seen in the Netherlands, where around half of all COVID-19 ICU patients were younger than 50.

A coronavirus patient in intensive care and sectioned off in a quarantined room.

Image source: Getty Images.

"These preliminary data also demonstrate that severe illness leading to hospitalization, including ICU admission and death, can occur in adults of any age with COVID-19," wrote researchers involved in the CDC study according to the Washington Post.

How the government is responding

Healthcare authorities recommend that people practice social distancing, work remotely if possible, and properly wash their hands. The Trump administration's proposed coronavirus relief package recently was approved by the Senate, and the president signed the bill into law on Wednesday. Among other things, the bill mandates free COVID-19 testing for Americans, increased paid leave, as well as unemployment benefits.

The government has also stressed the importance of telehealth services, easing restrictions for Americans to use telehealth service providers such as Teladoc (TDOC -2.67%).