With younger residents representing a growing percentage of new infections, Los Angeles County health officials this week reported more than 2,700 new coronavirus cases, along with another 50 deaths on Tuesday, July 21.
The number of people hospitalized remained among the highest numbers of the pandemic, according to the county Department of Public Health. The number of hospitalizations has topping 2,200 for three straight days.
Much information first reported about COVID-19 has changed from initial information when the pandemic was first reported.
Contrary to early information that indicated that young people weren’t as susceptible to risk, health officials have found that no matter your age and how young you are, you are vulnerable to the Coronavirus.
Health officials report that young adults are now being hospitalized at rates not seen before. In the San Fernando Valley health practitioners report they are seeing members of the same family now being admitted in area hospitals.
In addition, public health officials reported a rare but serious and potentially deadly inflammatory syndrome believed to be associated with the coronavirus has now been identified in 15 children in Los Angeles County.
Of the children, 73% were Latino, representing a disproportionate burden for this community. Latino residents are the largest ethnic group in L.A. County, making up about half of the county’s residents.
Most of the children developed MIS-C about two to four weeks after being infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control reports.
Multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, can cause different parts of the body to become inflamed, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms include fever, pain in the abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes and exhaustion.
The syndrome has also been called pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome, or PIMS.
No one who has experienced the syndrome has died in L.A. County, but the syndrome is potentially deadly. Nationwide about 70% of the cases of the inflammatory syndrome have been either Latino or Black patients.
While more research is needed, public health officials are urging people to stay vigilent by washing your hands, keeping distance from people you don’t live with, wearing proper face masks when you’re outside your home and stay home as much as possible.
It’s been noted that there are still those who are ignoring warnings by refusing to wear masks, having large family gatherings and aren’t taking precautions which is contributing to the spread of the virus.
“The tragedy of what we are witnessing is that many of our younger residents are interacting with each other and not adhering to the recommended prevention measures, while our older residents continue to experience the results of this increased spread with the worst health outcomes, including death,’’ county public health director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger noted Monday that the current spate of cases appears to be the result of widespread gatherings over the Fourth of July weekend, since the virus can have a two-week incubation period.
“Our behaviors, including the wearing of face coverings and the adherence of physical distancing — simple acts of kindness and caring — can protect those we love,’’ Ferrer said.