Local medical professionals report increase in younger individuals hospitalized with COVID-19

Coronavirus

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — This time last year, the majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 were older adults and people in their 30s to 50s who were less likely to need intensive treatment. Now, hospitals say those numbers have swapped.

“Forty-five percent of the people in our hospital right now with Covid are under the age of 50,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal, Chief Medical Officer, Our Lady of the Lake. “It’s something we have not seen before. There are 11 children admitted at children’s hospital with Covid today.”

Baton Rouge General

“We’ve seen young people die,” Dr. Ralph Dauterive, VP Medical Affairs, Ochsner shared. “I saw something from Covid that I didn’t think I would see.”

Dauterive said he recently saw a teenager die from COVID-19 complications.

“That’s really young to be hospitalized with Covid, and then die,” Dauterive said. “I mean, that’s a tough age.”

Baton Rouge General also released data highlighting the age differences of hospitalization this year compared to last.

Dauterive said that the increase of younger adults being hospitalized reflects the vaccination trends.

“Because the 20 to 50-year-old age group vaccination rate is so low,” Dauterive said. “So that’s who is getting infected and that’s who is spreading the delta variant of Covid.”

Last year, the people Dauterive saw in the hospital with Covid had underlying health problems.

“It was mostly overweight, diabetic people with immunological problems,” Dauterive said.

With the delta variant, he says this isn’t the standard.

“We are seeing some people now that don’t really have those risk factors,” Dauterive said.

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