Health official: COVID-19 on the rise in younger people

SWHD: COVID-19 on the rise in younger people

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The number of COVID-19 positive cases is increasing in Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) officials.

As the numbers rise, new trends are developing from the virus.

When COVID-19 started making people sick back in the spring, its main target was the elderly and people with health conditions, now, it appears the tables have turned.

Dr. Charles Ruis, the DPH Southwest Georgia Health District director, said it’s not young children they are seeing, but adolescents and older.

Dr. Charles Ruis
Dr. Charles Ruis (Source: WALB)

“So they’re younger, they’re healthier and their immune system is able to fight off the COVID virus much better than their older and sicker counterparts,” said Ruis.

He said younger people with the virus are not going to the hospital and if they do, they are less likely to need intensive care or a ventilator.

So what’s causing this shift?

“It suggests that long-term care facilities staff are doing a really good job with keeping the virus out of those facilities,” said Ruis.

Dr. Ruis said it’s also possible that the virus has changed.

When the virus first hit and state orders put into place, younger people were staying home more.

“It was the social distancing that made a huge difference in flattening the curve. By staying home, the virus didn’t spread among the younger generations as much,” explained Ruis.

Dr. Ruis also said that sometimes younger people can spread the virus before they even know they have it.

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital officials said they are seeing similar trends at their hospitals.

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