Doctors warn the elderly are not the only people at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 9:32 PM, Apr 02, 2020

CLEVELAND, Ohio — In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak many of us were assured only elderly and immune-compromised had anything to worry about.

But as it spreads in Ohio, health officials say that’s not only wrong it’s a dangerous way to think. According to the Ohio Department of Health, those below one year to age 39 make up 808 of the state’s 2,902 confirmed cases.

"Young people are being affected by this," Director Dr. Amy Acton said. "As the weather is getting better, we’ve talked about young people taking the time to take this very, very seriously. Young people are being hospitalized. Young people are dying from this.”

University Hospitals Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Amy Edwards says most children, teens and young adults will overcome and survive the virus, but they may be putting others in danger. Edwards says they are all among those who may be infected without knowing.

“In the last couple of days as the science has caught up with what we have observed it’s become very, very clear that that’s big part of this,” she said. “We are starting to learn that we think that asymptomatic carriers are really a big part of what’s moving this outbreak. Those people are shedding the virus in higher numbers than we realize.”

Edwards said because it’s not clear how COVID-19 may impact you , it’s best act to take precaution as if you are infected in order to prevent spreading the virus.

“Any of us can be infected at any time and so we have to stay home, stay away from each other, go out only when you absolutely need to go out,” Edwards said. “I know we all feel invincible you know when were kids and when were teenagers and are in our young 20’s, we feel like nothing bad can happen to us but you can be the reason that one of your family members gets sick and end up in the hospital.”