CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Doctors say they’re seeing an substantial increase in coronavirus cases in young adults across the Lowcountry.
Doctors at Roper St. Francis Healthcare say the majority of new cases in the middle of the week were people under the age of 40.
Of those, 27 percent of positive tests were younger than 30 years old.
“We have seen a huge spike in incidences of positive COVID tests in younger individuals,” Dr. Valerie Scott said. “And we’ve even had children of course who have been admitted. We’ve had all ages, so it really doesn’t discriminate against your age.”
The trend has been seen across the country.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control has removed the specific age threshold classifying those over 65 are at heightened risk for severe symptoms. The CDC now warns that risk for severity does increase with age, but those tough cases are not only limited to older age groups.
“It’s not quite as big of a risk for people our age category, so people are more likely to go to events, go out to eat, go to parties, maybe go to bars,” 25-year-old graduate student Faith Dunn said. “I think I got it from someone that I knew who had been going out to a lot of different things and seeing a lot of different people.”
Before she tested positive for the virus, Dunn said she noticed more of her close friends coming in contact with the virus. She says she hopes more young adults openly share their contact with the virus to warn friends well before they even get tested.
“One of my good friends was the first person I knew that had COVID and she got it a week before me and so, until then it didn’t really feel real,” Dunn said.
Scott said symptoms for the virus in young adults vary.
“Name a symptom, COVID does it,” Scott said. “It’s hard to tell, from individual to individual, you have definite differences in symptoms.”
With fatigue and a cough, Dunn said she knows her experience with the virus was less severe than many other she knew with COVID-19. Yet, she says it was a big wake up call as a moment for people her age to work together and protect others by wearing masks, staying socially distant and talking openly about exposures.
“Some people are super fearful of the virus, other people are super fearful that like, someone’s trying to control them by making them wear mask,” Dunn said. “I think that underneath all of it, it just comes down to trying to all band together to prevent as much harm as possible.”