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Young people are not immune to COVID-19, health officials warn: 'It's very easy to contract'

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- When it comes to coronavirus, some young people believe they are immune. Leaders in Milwaukee are working to dispel that myth. 

More than 400 people registered for a virtual conference hosted by the organization Fuel Milwaukee on Wednesday, April 1. By video, Milwaukee health officials along with other leaders, gathered to set the record straight on how the virus is impacting the younger generation. 

"It needs to be very clear that it’s very easy to contract this virus. Just because you’re healthy does not mean that you’ll have a breeze dealing with it,” said state Rep. David Bowen.

Rep. David Bowen knows firsthand. For the Millennial, it was his first day out of mandatory quarantine after getting the virus. 

"I probably had a fever around 103 degrees," Bowen said. "Coughing that starts, and then the tightness in your lungs, literally that does make it hard to breath."

Although majority of the positive cases have been middle-aged, African-American men in the City of Milwaukee, health leaders say it's changing. 

"That's changed a little over time as this disease is spreading across the city and the region," said Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner. 

According to the Milwaukee County COVID-19 Dashboard, two confirmed cases were under 9 years old. Eleven cases were between ages 10-19, 84 cases between ages 20-29 and 113 confirmed cases were between ages 30-39. 

The message of the panel was clear. 

"Not congregating at the Home Depot, not congregating at the Walmart, not having secret parties and whatnot where people are being exposed," said Kowalik. 

Kowalik added lifestyle and stress can be contributing factors, including your living situation. If people live in a very populated area, it can be difficult to protect themselves from the virus. 

Kane Communication Group also took part in the conference and shared their Stay Home, Save Lives MKE campaign. 

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