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Doctors say younger people may be more susceptible to COVID-19 than previously thought

Posted at 7:59 PM, Mar 28, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — Along busy Bayshore Boulevard, you'll find dozens of people walking and biking to keep busy.

“I’m going a little crazy," said Jessica Viola.

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It's a sentiment shared with many people across the Tampa Bay area as they try to stop the spread of coronavirus.

As of Saturday evening, the Florida Department of Health shared there were more than 4,000 confirmed cases in the state. About 3,800 of those were Florida residents.

“I think it’s easy for me to get frustrated because I’m not as at risk as others," said Viola. "We have to do what we have to do."

Looking at the Saturday morning report, more than half of Florida residents who had coronavirus were 54 and younger. The CDC reported young people may be more susceptible to becoming critically ill than previously thought.

“I know when you’re younger, you feel invincible, but as we’ve seen this is a nasty virus and it impacts a lot of people," said Dr. Marissa Levine, a professor of Public Health and Family Medicine at University of South Florida.

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Dr. Levine says even if you're not sick, you may have been exposed and can still spread the illness to other people.

“You can go for a walk, you can jog, and we need to do those things," said Levine. "We just need to make sure we maintain our physical distance.”

Warren Parent's wife likes to go for runs, but they spend much of their time at home. He's not sure everyone is taking COVID-19 seriously.

"Once the bell finally rings off in their mind, they’re going to say, okay this can get me as well," said Parent.