Covid-19: Bengaluru sees sharp rise in deaths among the young | India News

Covid-19: Bengaluru sees sharp rise in deaths among the young | India News
BENGALURU: Nearly 56% of deaths due to Covid-19 in the 20-49 age group in Karnataka have occurred in the past two months, showing how brutal the second wave of the pandemic has been on the younger generations, exacting a heavy toll on society and several families which have lost their lone earning member.
Doctors say they rarely saw young patients suffering from severe infections leading to fatalities during the first wave. “Now they account for not less than 30% of ICU beds,” said Dr Mahendra Kumar, medical director of Sagar Hospitals, Jayanagar. A majority, they point out, seek hospital beds 8-11 days after showing symptoms when the infection has deteriorated from mild to severe. In absolute numbers, of the 4,432 victims in the 20-49 age bracket so far, 2,465 died between March 17 and May 17.
Intensivists treating Covid cases in ICU say most of these youngsters were the breadwinners of their families and in several cases, sons have left behind parents who survived the infection. A decade-wise breakup of the 20-49 age group from the state war room data shows deaths have rapidly climbed in each category in the past two months though case fatality rates remain less.
“Percentage-wise, it might appear less but for the family which has lost the a breadwinner, it is 100% failure. In the second wave, infections are largely being seen among the younger population,” said a Covid technical advisory committee member. While 4.8 lakh people aged 20-29 have been infected so far, the number is 5.1 lakh for 30-39-year-olds and nearly 4 lakh in the 40-49 bracket. Ahead of the third wave, he pointed out, the slow pace of vaccination in the 18-44 age group is a major concern.
Dr Brunda MS, consultant for internal medicine at Aster CMI Hospital, points out that one of the reasons for rising deaths in this age group is that it was not part of the initial vaccination drive. “We are seeing a lot of youngsters dying from Covid-19. First, not many have taken precautions seriously and didn’t follow the guidelines of social distancing, wearing masks and usage of hand sanitiser. This is the primary reason why the second wave has badly hit this age group,” she said.
“Several youngsters are out for work, while some have also partied. And they have suffered from damage caused by infections and damage caused by exaggerated immune response, which is self-destructive,” said Dr Sheela Chakravarthy, director of internal medicine at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road. Nearly 20% of ICU beds in Fortis Hospital are occupied by youngsters, she added.
Doctors agree late hospitalisation is also contributing to more deaths. “Symptoms among youngsters have been varying and late reporting for admission after symptoms worsen or there is sudden deterioration has been a worrying factor,” says Brunda. This is worsened by non-availability of beds, certain drugs and adequate facilities, she added.
Chakravarthy says happy hypoxia — low blood oxygen levels without external signs such as difficulty in breathing — occurs 8-10 days after the onset of infection and there are several cases of youngsters who have come at the last minute when they are completely exhausted. Young patients search for beds at the last minute and there is a time lapse again. “Early intervention can save lives,” she says.

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