At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic which was only a year and a half ago, the majority of cases and terminal cases especially were among older people. As we learned more about the disease doctors discovered that not only were older people at greater risk for a terminal outcome with the disease but so were those with compromising health issues.

A lot of time has passed and a lot of research has been done on the coronavirus and now its ever-expanding variants. The biggest red flag that doctors are waving now concerns the Delta variant of the disease. The Delta variant is believed to be even more contagious and more transmissible than the coronavirus we were battling in late 2019.

The development of vaccines against the disease has given the medical community hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel however, it is the unvaccinated segment of the population that is maintaining the darkness inside the metaphorical tunnel to recovery.

Doctors with the LSU Health system say as cases are beginning to surge again so are hospitalizations. The commonality among patients at this stage of the pandemic is less about age and more about vaccinations. Doctors say almost all of the cases that are being treated in Louisiana hospitals are in patients who have not been vaccinated.

To be clear, getting vaccinated will not 100% protect an individual from getting COVID-19. However, statistics show that those who have been vaccinated do not seem to suffer the same severe symptoms nor require hospitalization for those symptoms.

The other troubling statistic that healthcare officials in the state are monitoring is the age of those infected. Hospitals and medical clinics across the state are seeing more and more patients who are aged 40 or younger in their offices. Again, almost all of those infected have opted out of being vaccinated.

Another sobering statistic is that terminal coronavirus cases are now almost exclusively those that are unvaccinated. Meanwhile, vaccination hesitancy continues to be a driving force in Louisiana's COVID case count. Yesterday the State Department of Health reported just over 1500 new cases of coronavirus in the state. The death toll from the disease also increased by 13.

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