KOCHI: This is bad news. The number of young patients dying in the second wave of the Covid pandemic is worryingly high. Last month, more than 40 patients aged under 30 died of the viral infection in the state. Experts have urged youngsters, a majority of whom are under treatment at home, to be vigilant and seek medical help as soon as they develop any serious symptom.
Kerala also reported over 3,500 deaths in May, which is 40 per cent of the state’s toll. And, when the daily toll started to be reported in three digits, that is May 19, 144 patients in the 31-40 age group had died till Wednesday. Four patients in the 18-20 age group died since May 19. Delay in seeking medical help and severity of the infection due to variants are being cited as reasons for the worsening situation among youngsters.
“Since the second wave is seen to be mostly affecting those aged below 45, we urge them to be vigilant. In many cases, we have noticed that there is a delay in young patients turning up for treatment. Since most of them are showing no major symptoms and are undergoing treatment at home, they tend to ignore tiredness and fatigue. Once the oxygen level in the blood drops, it would take just hours for a person’s health condition to deteriorate. If proper medical help is not sought at the right time, the patient may end up requiring ICU care and ventilator facility,” said Dr Gopikumar P, an ENT specialist based in Thrissur.
“At times, the symptoms will be so minor that they may go unnoticed. Hence, checking the oxygen level regularly using a pulse oximeter is very important. In case of youngsters who have no health issues or comorbidities, seeking medical help before their condition worsens will rule out the need for ICU admissions and within two to four, they can be discharged,” he said. As of Thursday, the state’s death toll was 10,631. As per official records, the highest number of deaths in a single day was 227, reported on Sunday.
“If we look at the age-wise statistics, most deaths occurred in patients who were aged above 60 and had comorbidities and other health issues. Youngsters died due to the attack of Covid variants. Vaccination is the only way forward to tackle the virus,” said a health official. Doctors treating Covid patients have urged youngsters to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“While we have come across patients who tested positive even after both the doses, not many of them required ICU or ventilators. A huge difference in the severity of the infection can been seen in those who are vaccinated and those who are not,” said Dr Monu Varghese, a Kochi-based pulmonologist.