After spending much of the past year caring for older patients, doctors have witnessed a clear demographic transition. Young and middle-aged adults are increasing the proportion of patients in the covid-19 ward.
This is a sign of successful protection of older people through vaccination and is an urgent reminder of the younger generation paying higher if the outbreak is allowed to boil in communities across the country.
“We are now looking at people in their thirties, forties and fifties, that is, really sick young people,” he said. Dr. Vishnu Chundi, An infectious disease expert and chair of the covid-19 task force of the Chicago Medical Society. “Most of them succeed, but some don’t … I’m sad because I lost just two 32-year-olds.”
Nationally, adults currently under the age of 50 account For the most hospitalized covid patients in the country — about 36% of all hospitalizations. Ages 50-64 account for the second highest number of hospitalizations, or about 31%. On the other hand, hospitalizations for adults aged 65 and over have declined significantly.
about 32% of the US population It is now fully vaccinated, but the majority are people over the age of 65. This is the priority group in the early stages of vaccine introduction.
The new infectious disease Gradually decline Nationally, some regions have fought the resurgence of the coronavirus in recent months — some “4th wave— Driven by the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the UK, it is estimated to be 40% to 70% more contagious.
As many states have abandoned pandemic precautions, this more virulent strain still has ample room to spread among young people who are widely susceptible to the disease.
Vaccination efforts are becoming increasingly urgent with the emergence of more dangerous viral strains in the United States, including the first variants found in South Africa and Brazil.
“We are participating in a completely different ball game,” he said. Judith Malmgren, An epidemiologist at the University of Washington.
Increasing infections among young adults create “disease reservoirs” that eventually “spread to other parts of society.” Not yet reached herd immunity — And she said it was a precursor to a broader surge in the incident.
Fortunately, for people under the age of 50, covid remains very unlikely to die, but this age group may become seriously ill or experience long-term symptoms after the initial infection. There is a possibility. People with underlying illnesses such as obesity and heart disease are also more likely to become seriously ill.
“B.1.1.7 does not discriminate on the basis of age. When it comes to young people, our message on this is still too soft,” Malmgren said.
A hospital full of young and sick people
Nationally, the influx of young covid patients surprised clinicians explaining hospital beds filled with patients. Many look more ill than those seen during previous pandemic waves.
“Many of them need ICU care,” he said. Dr. Michel BaronCompared to the early days of the pandemic, UC Health, one of Colorado’s largest hospital systems, responsible for infection prevention and management.
According to Baron, the median age of patients at UC Health Hospital has declined by more than 10 years in the past few weeks, from 59 to about 48 years.
“I think this will continue, especially if these groups don’t get much vaccine,” she said.
Most hospitals are far from the onslaught of illness seen in winter, Explosion of incident in Michigan It highlights the potential fallout of relaxing restrictions if the majority of adults have not yet been vaccinated.
There is strong evidence that all three vaccines used in the United States provide excellent protection against British variants.
One study As previously thought, the B.1.1.7 variant should not cause more serious illness. However, patients infected with the variant are more likely to have more virus in their bodies than patients in previously predominant strains. This can help explain why the virus spreads more easily.
“We think this may be causing many of these hospitalizations for young people,” he said. Dr. Rachael Leigh At the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital.
Lee’s hospital also observed an increase in younger patients.Like other southern states, in Alabama Low Vaccine intake rate.
But even in Washington, where many of the population choose to vaccinate, they are hospitalized. Steadily rising From early March, especially among young people. According to Dr. Jeff Duchin, director of public health in Seattle and King County, more people in their 20s are now hospitalized with covid than people in their 70s in the Seattle area.
“We still don’t have enough young adults vaccinated to counter the increased ease of spreading variants,” Duchin said at a recent press conference.
Nationwide About 32% of people in their 40s Fully vaccinated compared to 27% of people in their 30s. Its share drops to about 18% between the ages of 18 and 29.
“I hope the mortality curve doesn’t rise that fast, but that puts a strain on the healthcare system,I said Dr. Nathan Schricher, Emergency physician and president of the Washington State Medical Association.
Schricher is also in his late thirties and fearfully recalls two recent patients (close to age and previously healthy) were hospitalized for a new heart failure caused by covid.
“I saw it up close, and it scares hell from me,” he said.
“I understand that young people feel invincible, but what I tell them is, don’t be afraid to die. For fear of heart failure, lung damage, what you like It’s something you can’t do. “
Will young adults be vaccinated?
Doctors and public health professionals want the annoying surge in hospitalization in young demographics to be temporary — the vaccine will quickly counteract it. It became available much sooner in some states, but all adults were only eligible for the covid vaccine on April 19.
Malmgren, an epidemiologist in Washington, said: “We have to turn our attention to it and think a little differently.”
This article was reprinted from khn.org With permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorial independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy research organization independent of Kaiser Permanente.
Increasing number of serious cases in young adults
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