Hospital officials concerned about spike in coronavirus cases in young people

ATLANTA — Doctors with Georgia's largest hospital said they are seeing a drop in critical care patients with coronavirus, but they warn that they are seeing more patients in their 20s and 30s.

Channel 2′s Carol Sbarge was at Grady Memorial Hospital, where three weeks ago, they had more than 60 coronavirus patients. That number has dropped by one third, but what concerns Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Jansen is the increase in younger people with the virus.

“It’s a little bit of a disturbing trend, and what frightens me is not only that they are younger, the potential of them infecting other people, particularly parents and grandparents,” Jansen said.

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Jansen said so far, the new cases don’t appear to be connected to recent protests. Instead, he said the spike seemed to coincide with more businesses open up in Georgia.

"There's people going to restaurants and bars and not wearing masks at all, and that's a big risk factor," Jansen said. "Once we said people can go out, it's human nature to go out, and I understand that wearing a mask is not always easy."

Jansen said the growing number of cases among young people is a reminder to wear masks and practice social distancing. He said he is encouraged that the numbers of seriously ill, mostly older patients with coronavirus has dropped at Grady.

"A lot of our patients who require critical care were elderly," Jansen said. "A great number of those were nursing home patients and we're not seeing as large a number of those patients now."

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Medical experts want people to remember that just because its' summer and more social activities are happening, the coronavirus is still very much here.

Sbarge asked Jansen how patients are responding to antiviral drug Remdisivir, which can reportedly shorten the length of coronavirus symptoms in some hospitalized patients.

“Remdisivir has been very rewarding,” Jansen said. “I think that outcomes improved by using Remdisivir earlier as opposed to when somebody is really ill.”

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