Can young people get seriously ill?
Is infection possible from a toilet seat or drainpipe? Can young people get seriously ill?
Is infection possible from a toilet seat or drainpipe?
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Can young people get seriously ill?
Is infection possible from a toilet seat or drainpipe?

    This is part 6 of our coronavirus FAQ. Click here to read the other installments: #Coronavirus the facts. Find the latest information and answers from experts on everything COVID-19.

    Q: Can young people get seriously ill when infected?

    Experts used to say it was mainly elderly people and those with underlying health conditions that developed serious symptoms. But recent cases show that young people can also get seriously ill.
    Last month, media reported that a 21-year-old woman in Britain and a 16-year-old girl in France, both with no known pre-existing conditions, had died after catching the virus.

    Japan has also had cases of comparatively young people becoming seriously ill. Kutsuna Satoshi of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine says he treated a man in his early 40s with no serious pre-existing conditions.

    Kutsuna says the man only had fever and a cough for the first several days but after a week he developed pneumonia and needed a respirator. He says the man has now recovered. Kutsuna says young people should not think they are safe from the virus.

    The World Health Organization says there have been many instances of people under the age of 50 being hospitalized.

    The data presented here are accurate as of April 2.

    Data show younger generations account for a large portion of people confirmed to have the new coronavirus in Tokyo. (00:25)

    Q. Can I catch it from a toilet seat?

    Yes, according to Professor Kaku Mitsuo from Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University. He is an expert on infection prevention measures and says viruses can attach to the surface of the toilet and surrounding places and you can get infected by touching the contaminated surface with your hands. He recommends closing the toilet lid before flushing and making sure to thoroughly wash your hands after using the toilet.

    Q: Is it possible to get infected from a drainpipe?

    During the SARS outbreak in 2003, a mass infection was reported at a condominium in Hong Kong. It was thought that old drainpipes were leaking droplets that contained the virus.

    But professor Kaku says there is a low risk of the new coronavirus spreading through drainpipes in countries with relatively high levels of hygiene.

    The data presented here are accurate as of April 1.

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