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Central Georgia epidemiologist discusses COVID-19 risk factors

The elderly and those with underlying conditions are most at risk

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — Though there are more than 100,000 cases worldwide, there are less than 50 confirmed right now in Georgia. 

However, the World Health Organization says some people are more at risk than others.

The elderly and those with underlying conditions are more likely to have serious symptoms if infected.

North Central Health District Director of Epidemiology, Community Assessment, and Research Initiatives, Amber Erickson, echoed that message at a Houston County briefing Friday afternoon.

"The disease that we're seeing right now and the risk to middle Georgia, it is low risk in our area we do not have any confirmed cases in our area," she said. "We're monitoring all of the contacts and the case fatality rate and the number of cases being seen globally are not affecting children as they do in other respiratory illnesses like influenza. Right now the high risk groups are those that are over 60. Their case fatality rate is about 15% using the data that we have now. When you look at across the board the case fatality rate is about 3.5%. Children have extremely low numbers of disease and really it's individuals over 30 that are getting it."

It's also important to keep perspective: though some cases can be fatal, the CDC says most only lead to mild symptoms. 

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FACTS NOT FEAR | At 13WMAZ, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the coronavirus. To see our full coverage, visit our site section here: www.13wmaz.com/Coronavirus.

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