Young and Healthy? You’re Not Immune to Coronavirus
You’re young, healthy and bored. Before you tempt fate by throwing a coronavirus party, consider these current numbers from the Georgia Department of Public Health:
- 60% of people who tested positive for coronavirus were between 18-59 years old
- 294 people have died from the virus in Georgia
- Georgia has over 7,500 cases
- 101 cases have been reported in Southeast Georgia
“I can’t stress enough – COVID-19 is not an ‘old-person’s disease’. In fact, coronavirus can make young people really sick, and some otherwise healthy young adults who have no comorbidities have died,” says Alan Brown, M.D., board-certified internal medicine physician and medical director, Hospital Medicine, Southeast Georgia Health. “Even when symptoms are mild or unapparent during what we believe to be the two to 14-day incubation period, the disease is highly contagious. You can easily pass it to a family member or friend who could die from the virus.”
Brown urges all Georgians regardless of age to practice common sense. “Stay at home if at all possible. When you do go out, stay six feet away from others. Wash your hands and disinfect frequently- used items. Avoid touching your face. You may also want to wear a mask as the CDC now recommends. The stay-at-home order won’t last forever. We will be able to begin socializing again, and when that time comes, you’ll want your loved ones to be healthy. For now, don’t risk your health or the health of the ones you love just because you’re bored.”
He adds a final plea. “If you’ve ever crammed for an exam, imagine doing that day after day, week after week. That’s what life is like for health care workers right now, with one big difference. People’s lives depend on us, so we’re depending on you. Please help us slow the spread of the coronavirus.”
The primary symptoms of coronavirus are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Some people also experience fatigue and muscle pain. More advanced symptoms include trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion and bluish lips or face. The risk of symptoms becoming serious goes up if you have diabetes, a heart or lung condition or if you smoke.
If you experience symptoms or were exposed to someone infected with the virus, call the Health System’s Screening Hotline at 912-466-7222, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For COVID-19 updates, visit www.sghs.org or www.cdc.gov.
About Southeast Georgia Health System
Southeast Georgia Health System is a not-for-profit health system comprised of two acute care hospitals, two long term care facilities, three immediate care centers, five family medicine centers and numerous employed physician practices. The Health System has multiple outpatient specialty care centers, including the only CyberKnife® M6 Program in Georgia, and a Cancer Care Center accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The Health System is part of Coastal Community Health, a regional affiliation between Baptist Health and Southeast Georgia Health System forming a highly integrated hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. For more information, visit sghs.org.