Editorial: It’s fallacious to believe young people are immune to COVID-19

Director of Public Health of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Badu Sarkodie has made a startling revelation during his routine meet-the-press series to throw light on the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Contrary to what is widely believed to be true that young people are somewhat immune to the COVID-19 attack, young people represent the highest number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country, according to data provided by the GHS.

Dr. Badu Sarkodie observed that those between the ages 25 and 34 years old were the worst affected, whilst those between the ages of 15 and 24 have recorded the least number of confirmed cases. Interestingly, there is no known case of infection in anyone under the age of 15, Dr. Sarkodie stated.

It has been suggested that as most cases have been imported, as opposed to in-community transfers, this group (25 – 34 years old) represents the median age of travelers into the country over the time period.

There is little doubt that COVID-19 has been much deadlier in older people, but more anecdotes are popping up of young, healthy people getting critically ill. Therefore, there is no time for complacency but rather, it is imperative for all, irrespective of age, social group or status, to adhere strictly to the WHO protocols to stay safe from this gruesome pestilence.

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According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA, among the first reported cases in the US; around 40 percent of the patients that required hospitalization were between the ages of 20 and 54.

The CDC data highlights that the young are not immune to getting seriously ill, with 38 percent of hospitalized patients between the ages of 20 and 54.

We must as a country take a cue from happenings around the world and prepare accordingly to tackle this novel virus that is defying all the odds and making life uncomfortable millions around the globe.

Even younger people who feel perfectly healthy need to take the pandemic seriously because they can spread the virus even if they’re not feeling any symptoms, Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated.

Ghanaians have so far taken the disease seriously even though some remain recalcitrant and move around town and the Special Advisor to President Akufo-Addo on health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare believes is the prime reason why the country has recorded such a low death rate because of COVID-19.

For optimal results, let us all continue to observe the protocols and stay at home as much as possible.

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