Of the active COVID cases in the district, the highest number is in the 20 to 30 age group.
Going by figures available from the District Surveillance Unit, a total of 9,622 people recovering from the infection at present are in the 20 to 30 age category. This is out of an active caseload of over 50,000.
This is followed by cases in the 40 to 50 age group, with 9,232 people having tested positive recently.
“This second wave has cut across younger and older age groups almost alike. While people in the 25 to 45 age bracket are increasingly infected now, cases continue to rise in the elderly population as well,” said Dr. A. Fathahudeen, who heads the department of pulmonology at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kalamassery. “We are seeing patients with no comorbidities developing serious illness. More pregnant women are also coming in with breathlessness and pneumonia, especially near term,” he said.
“Many patients are now showing changes in certain blood parameters, indicating severe illness. This includes high LDH levels, and a tendency towards affecting the heart,” Dr. Fathahudeen said. Since it looks like this second wave is being spread by mutant strains and appears to be more contagious, it is most likely that the death rates could also increase, he added.
A doctor at PVS Hospital, which is also treating critically ill patients in the district, pointed out a shift in the age group that is affected. “While elderly people are still getting infected, now a lot of younger people in the 28 to 35 age group are also getting admitted with serious illness,” said the doctor who asked not to be identified. “People in the younger age groups don’t seem to be seeking help unless they get really sick. By the time they seek help, they must have developed severe pneumonia,” he said.
Early intervention remains crucial, Dr. Fathahudeen said. Continuous monitoring of oxygen levels is necessary. If oxygen levels drop, medical assistance must be sought immediately, and red-flag signs (like increasing breathlessness, severe cough and fatigue, altered sensorium or talking irrelevantly) should not be ignored, he said.
Among children, 2,832 kids below 10 years are currently recovering, while 4,553 between the ages of 10 and 20 are part of the active caseload. Between the ages of 50 and 60, 8,133 people are recovering, while the figure stands at 5,,193 for the 60 to 70 age group, and 1,937 in the 70 to 80 age group.