‘We’re letting down our guard’: UNC doctor weighs in as COVID-19 cases surge among young people

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – In the last month, a rising number of young people have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Carolina.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

According to data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 45 percent of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are between the ages of 25-49.

In Durham County, 60 percent of the cases are people between the ages of 18-50, according to data from the Durham County Department of Public Health.

Chloe Baker

Chloe Baker, 19, is one Durham resident who tested positive for COVID-19 in March after taking a school choir trip to London.

“I had difficulty filling my lungs all the way,” Baker said. “And its probably the longest I ever had a fever. I had a fever for four days.”

Baker said it took her 14 days to get over the virus.

Baker said it is frustrating to hear that the number of COVID-19 cases among young people is on the rise in Durham and across the state.

“It’s just frustrating because I know it’s people that aren’t taking it seriously,” Baker said.

Dr. David Wohl a professor of medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill said transmission has increased as businesses reopen and young people are not taking the right safety precautions.

“We’re letting down our guard,” Wohl said. “It’s a lot of young people congregating indoors, not outside but indoors, without masks and that’s just asking for trouble.”

While a majority of the COVID-19 cases among young people he has seen have been mild, Wohl said he has seen some 20- and 30-year-olds who have been hospitalized with the virus.

Wohl said everyone should still treat this pandemic like we did when it started back in March.

He is urging everyone to wear a mask, wash your hands, and do not leave home unless it is necessary.

“I think we’re saying things are better now, but they really aren’t better now,” Wohl said. “If you look at the numbers they’re worse now than they were. So let’s not ruin all the hard work. We really have to protect ourselves and protect others.”

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