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COVID-19 case infections among young adults compared with older populations in Georgia
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Faaris Rashid is in the Class of 2021 at Alliance Academy for Innovation


Coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2, is an ongoing global health emergency and has adversely affected normal life activities and economies around the world. 

This virus can result in a range of illnesses, from mild symptoms to severe illness and even death. As of now it is unclear how SARS-CoV-2 will affect each person. 

Faaris Rashid
Faaris Rashid, Class of 2021Alliance Academy for Innovation
According to the World Health Organization, “most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.” 

In the state of Georgia, the COVID-19 pandemic was first detected on March 2, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The state’s first death was reported 10 days later. As of Dec. 29, there have been 552,712 confirmed cases, 41,403 hospitalizations, and 9,759 deaths as reported by Department of Public Health’s website, dph.georgia.gov.

Health officials say the virus is highly contagious and people in their teens and 20s can easily spread to more a vulnerable population. I am interested to study the differences in previous and current trends of COVID-19 infections for year 2020 among teens and young adults compared to people in 30-49 years old age group and above.

People between the ages of 18 to 29 made up about 29% of the new cases in June, up to 21% in May and 13% in April. After reviewing COVID-19 data from the CDC and GDPH it seems like this population is mirroring the same pattern since November 2020 and COVID-19 cases have increased to the highest in this young adult population.


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COVID-19 Cases Comparison in Four Age Groups

The increase in the number of cases among younger adults is likely to be related to people involved in outdoor activities and not following guidelines for social distancing, washing hands and wearing face coverings Young adults are less likely to adhere to preventive measures which can put them and their close contacts at higher risks for COVID-19 infection. 

As seen in the data reported at GDPH, CDC websites, deaths rates are at highest in the 30-49 years age group and older populations. If we can comply with CDC health and safety guidelines in this age bract (18-29 years old), we can substantially reduce the risks of infections and deaths in the older age groups.

COVID-19 cases were compared for two counties with similar populations: Forsyth County (pop. 252,507) and neighboring Cherokee County (pop. 266,617). 

A similar pattern of new COVID-19 cases is observed in both counties with a slightly higher cases per 100K population in Cherokee as compared to Forsyth. 

This predicts that COVID-19 confirmed cases are on the rise since November and extra precautions and combined efforts are needed in every county to follow the CDC guidelines to minimize the risks associated with this novel disease.  

More emphasize can be given to the young adult population who should play their part in following the precautionary measures to use masks, washing of hands, using of sanitizer and observing social distancing to reduce the transmission of the disease to the older population.


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COVID-19 Cases in Forsyth vs Cherokee