Covid-19: why are contaminations exploding in young adults?


In Paris, one in 30 young people tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

The numbers speak for themselves. With an incidence rate of 1,034 per 100,000 inhabitants the week of December 15 to 21, against 598 for the entire population, 20-29 year olds appear very clearly as the population category most affected by this fifth wave of Covid-19, marked by the meteoric spread of the Omicron variant. An even more visible situation in Paris, as Guillaume Rozier, founder of the CovidTracker site, pointed out on Twitter.

« In Paris, there are 387,000 young people aged 20 to 30. Among them, 13,150 have received a positive test in the last seven days (or 1 in 30), » he wrote on Saturday, December 25 in a tweet.

In the capital, the incidence rate of 20-29 year olds climbs to 3,405 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the week of December 16 to 22, against 1,561 for all Parisians.

As a result, many young people had to isolate themselves for the end of year celebrations. Like Lilian, interviewed by Webrema. At 24, he spent the Christmas holidays locked in his room, after being infected « during an evening on the Bassin d’Arcachon in a bar ».

A decrease in vigilance

According to the general admission of young people interviewed by Webrema, this explosion of cases can be explained in particular by a decrease in vigilance in the face of the epidemic within this age group, where social interactions are strong.

« We don’t realize, but there is a lot of carelessness because we tell ourselves that we are vaccinated, » admits Clyde, currently in isolation. “Having human contact is important for us young people. And so it’s true that we can be less careful,” says Lise Marie, in the same situation.

The epidemic and its successive lockdowns have had dramatic consequences for the mental health of students, with rates of depression in faculties rising to almost 40%. Can today justify this search for social link.

« Vaccinate, we don’t think we can catch it, » confesses Eléonore. The young woman, who had the chance to come out of isolation for the Christmas holidays, now promises to be more careful, especially in the use of hydroalcoholic gel and mask.

This drop in vigilance can also be explained by the message sent by the health authorities and the government since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic. The virus primarily affects the oldest categories of people, and young people are much less prone to severe forms.

Risk of disorganization of the company

But with forecasts from the Scientific Council, which last week predicted « hundreds of thousands of cases per day » by next week, the risk is that many vital sectors will be shut down, caused by the shutdown. the isolation of thousands of young adults.

And like children, young people, although less likely to develop severe forms, can transmit the virus to those at risk.

These are all elements calling for increased vigilance within this age group, as New Year’s Eve approaches.

Jules Fresard, with Boris Hansel

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