Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are considering using the TikTok social networking platform to encourage more young Americans to take public health precautions as young people grow coronavirus, officials said on Thursday.
The data show that new infections across the country are “targeting young people,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, at a telephone conference with reporters. Redfield said that although young people are at a lower risk of severe illness and death due to Covid-19, high infection rates among young Americans increase the chances of getting older people at risk.
According to Jay Butler, CDC Deputy Director of Infectious Diseases, young people may not take a pandemic as seriously as older Americans.
“We may need to spread the message that young people are somehow not immune to this virus, although they may have a lower risk of serious infection,” he said. “Tools that can be used include social networks. We are studying TikTok. ”
Managed by Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, TikTok, is a short video social media platform. The application uses an algorithm to determine which videos the user likes and places them on a scrollable page. Organizations can also pay for placing short video ads on users’ pages. The application has exploded in popularity, especially among young people, in recent years.
TikTok representatives were not immediately available to comment on whether the CDC was aware of the public health campaign.
“This is what we are studying, and I’m at the age when I need to stop and think about what TikTok is, but I learned about it in the last month,” Butler added. In addition to TikTok and other social media strategies, Butler said the CDC could issue ads for public services to convince Americans to practice physical distance and wear a mask.
Numerous officials in states with growing outbreaks explain the growing number of cases when young people do not practice social distance in bars with excessive productivity. In Florida, the average age of an infected person has continued to decline in recent weeks. On Wednesday, the state reported that the average age of patients was 33 years, compared with 65 years in March.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has indicated a decrease in the average age of patients as evidence that the state effectively protects its most vulnerable residents. However, White House adviser on coronavirus Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Tuesday that scientists are seeing “more and more” complications with Covid-19 in young people.
De Santis, as well as Texas Governor Greg Abbott, attribute the increase in their states to young people who do not practice social distance, especially in bars.
While coronavirus-infected young people who are otherwise healthy are less likely to die or be hospitalized than older people, “there is some risk of serious illness, including among young people,” Butler said. Scientists are also still investigating the long-term health effects of coronavirus infection, which can lead to quality of life problems in younger patients at a later age.
Now that the virus continues to spread widely among young people, putting many people across the country at risk and hindering the country’s response to the pandemic, Redfield acknowledged that public health messaging should be more effective.
“Given that the effects and consequences of Covid infection on them cannot be highly associated with hospitalization and death, they do serve as a link for people who may actually be at higher risk,” Redfield said of young people. . “I remain concerned about attempts to understand the effective public health messaging system that we must convey to those under the age of 45 and under the age of 30.”
Some public health officials expressed disappointment that the CDC remained mostly calm during March and April, as the virus took hold, mainly in New York and the northeast. Only in June did the CDC resume regular news briefings after the break, which began in March.
Dr. Ashish Jah, director of the Harvard Institute of Global Health, for example wrote in an article in April that “the CDC was inexplicably absent, and the Americans are suffering and dying for it.”