PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some young people have been throwing coronavirus parties, a gathering where people who have COVID-19 attend.
The goal for the guests? To win money by being the first to be infected.
“It’s so alarming,” says Dr. Brian Lamb, a primary care internist at the Allegheny Health Network, “flaunting what they feel is their immortality.”
With a coronavirus infection, many young, otherwise healthy people, only have mild symptoms but some have a severe illness.
“We don’t know who’s going to have the severe reaction,” said Dr. James Deangelo of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Associates.
Thirty-eight percent of those sick enough to be hospitalized are younger than 55 years old. For people ages 20 to 44, four percent of those hospitalized die.
“A young person from Penn State who died of complications from coronavirus,” says Dr. Lamb. “You don’t want to get this disease.”
The big problem with young people getting coronavirus and not having significant symptoms is they can spread it to others and not realize it.
“You now have exposure at a party, you go home, you infect your sibling, your parents, grandparents,” says Dr. Deangelo.
“People who are actually going to get sick from it,” added Dr. Lamb.
“Somewhere down the line, there’s a death,” says Dr. Deangelo, “It’s negligence.”
And if you get invited to this kind of party?
“I would decline, and quite frankly, I would report it,” Dr. Deangelo says. “I do think the health department should listen if you hear about such a party taking place.”
“You really need to rethink your friend circle,” Dr. Lamb recommends. “Are these people that are making the best decisions in their lives? Are these people I want to be friends with? Are these people I want to associate with?”
In Allegheny County in the last 10 days of June, seven of the people hospitalized were in their 20s and 30s.