ATLANTA - Revealing data indicates the coronavirus is impacting African Americans at a disproportionately high rate across the country.
Georgia's department of health just started documenting race and the coronavirus on its website Wednesday.
Doctors say they can tell from the little information out there, that this disease is hitting the black community especially hard.
Fairburn sisters Ernestine Mann and Carolyn Harris died of the coronavirus just days apart from each other: One, an 84-year-old retired Atlanta Public Schools teacher and the other, loved ones say, was healthy and working from home not long ago.
They’re two victims of a persistent disease with new numbers showing it’s especially brutal for African Americans.
Dr. Fauci, the physician and immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since the 1980's confirmed this recently.
"We’ve known literally forever that diseases like diabetes, hypertension and asthma are disproportionately affecting minority communities," he said.
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Georgia Department of Public Health’s Dr. Toomey revealed many local labs aren’t collecting data about a victim’s race.
"That particular variable is missing in many cases," she said Wednesday during the Governor's press conference extending the stay-at-home order to April 30th.
The department did post the little information it does have about cases and race to its website Wednesday afternoon.
It shows 20 percent of those with the disease in the state are African American, compared to 15 percent of whites with the virus, but the majority of cases at this point are unknown.
Across the country, the numbers are more clear.
In Chicago, nearly 70 percent of virus-related fatalities are black despite the fact they make up less than a third of the population.
The disparity is also clear in Louisiana, where blacks make up 32 percent of the population but account for 70 percent of the state’s deaths.
Dr. Toomey says there are a higher number of African American fatalities southwest of the city of Atlanta.
"We're seeing more fatalities in Albany," she said.
Dr. Toomey says the department is actively working to make sure labs document race while testing moving forward.
Best prevention measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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