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WHO warns of risk of young infecting the old

The World Health Organization’s chief for Europe has warned COVID-19 is a “tornado with a long tail” and says increased case counts among young people could ultimately passed on to more vulnerable older people and cause an uptick in deaths.

Dr. Hans Kluge said younger people are likely to come into closer contact with the elderly as the weather cools in Europe.

“We don’t want to do unnecessary predictions, but this is definitely one of the options: That at one point there would be more hospitalizations and an uptick in mortality,” he told reporters from Copenhagen, the WHO Europe headquarters.

Kluge said 32 out of 55 state parties and territories in WHO’s European region have seen a 14-day incidence rate increase of more than 10 percent, calling that “definitely an uptick which is generalized in Europe.”

But he also suggested health authorities and other officials are better positioned and more prepared than in February when the continent was on the cusp of a huge surge in cases and deaths.