Doctors, hospitals warn young people about the Delta variant threat

By: - August 20, 2021 12:03 pm

Registered nurse Juana Diaz speaks in a PSA about COVID hospitalizations. Source: Screenshot/YouTube

Aiming to push for more people to get COVID-19 vaccines, an Orlando doctor is warning the younger population that they could face chronic health problems if infected with the coronavirus.

Dr. Sanjay Pattani, an emergency physician with AdventHealth Orlando, says in a public service announcement released this week, titled “After Effects,” that the vaccines may not prevent infection but can protect a young person from serious illness.

“It’s the after-effects of getting COVID that the young population should be concerned about,” Pattani said.

The Florida Medical Association and the Florida Hospital Association partnered to issue that video among other PSAs radio and digital platforms to urge more people to get vaccinated.

“There’s chronic fatigue syndrome, blood clotting disorders, heart problems,” Pattani says. “There are long chronic lung problems. The essence of this vaccine is not to prevent you from getting coronavirus. It is from preventing you from getting seriously ill and potentially dying.”

In another spot on YouTube, a registered nurse recalls a young patient who was hospitalized with  COVID and required to use a breathing machine.

“We’re still in the same circumstances that we were when there wasn’t a vaccine. Where you’re watching people just pass away,” said RN Juana Diaz, who works at Winter Haven Hospital, according to her LinkedIn.

“We had someone in her 30s, a young mommy. She left her husband and three little kids, ages four, two, eight. They’re saying, ‘Mommy, come home. Mommy, I miss you.’ She’s not saying anything because she’s intubated. It’s rough. It’s rough to watch every day.”

Those spots come as Florida continues to see more patients hospitalized with COVID-19, overwhelming the hospital systems that face staffing shortages, as the more contagious Delta variant sweeps the nation.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported as Friday that 17,198  inpatient beds in Florida were in use for COVID-19, based on 259 hospitals reporting. Overall, the number of inpatient beds in the state is 59,655 and 51,308 are in use, based on HHS data. That means nearly 29 percent of inpatient beds are being uses for COVID.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis has been against lockdowns and face mask mandates for schoolchildren, even threatening to withhold salaries of school officials.

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Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan

Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.