The COVID-19-era world is seeing some strange things taking place, like toilet paper wars, empty bars – and the US Surgeon General asking Kylie Jenner to tell her fans to go home.

As global health authorities continue to urge young people to take the coronavirus seriously, Surgeon General Jerome Adams resorted to calling on "influencers" to play a role in keeping the community safe.

"I have a 15 and 14 year old and the more I tell them not to do something, the more they want to do it," Dr Adams said.

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"What I really think we need to do was get our influencers – Kevin Durant, Donavan Mitchell, we need to get Kylie Jenner and social media influencers out there, in helping folks understand: this is serious – people are dying out there," Dr Adams said.

He said young people were continuing to go out and party and put themselves and others at risk after images of kids on spring break partying at the beach dismayed many Americans who are self-isolating in their homes.

Dr Adams said not only could young people transfer the disease to people such as their grandparents, but new evidence suggested they could become very ill themselves.

"We have data emerging from Italy that suggests young people may be at higher risk than we previously thought. But think about your grandfather, the fact you're spreading disease that could ultimately be what kills them," he said.

Jenner has been self-quarantining for eight days and has already appealed to her 166 million Instagram followers to do the same, as have countless other public figures and celebrities.

She uploaded an Instagram story with the warning: "Another daily reminder to take this social distancing serious and self-quarantine."

Brooklyn Nets basketball star Kevin Durant has tested positive for the virus, along with three of his teammates, as has Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell.

Despite them repeatedly telling their fans to stay at home and socially distance themselves, thousands are still going out.