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UP: Amid death spike, concern over fatality in 21-60 age group with no comorbidity

The age-fatality share of deaths in the state may look alarming for those below 60, but the mortality rate is highest in the 60 plus age group.

Written by Avaneesh Mishra | Lucknow |
Updated: June 13, 2020 11:50:40 am
A guard scans a man in Lucknow. (Express Photo: Vishal Srivastava)

Amid the spike in the number of Covid-19 deaths in Uttar Pradesh, another concern is growing —more people below the age of 60 without known comorbidity have died of Covid-19 in the state.

Despite the assessment that healthy youngsters are at lesser risk from SARS-CoV-2 and only elderly people with underlying conditions have increased risk of severe infection, the latest data from Uttar Pradesh show otherwise. Out of the 321 deaths reported in the state till Wednesday, 209 — roughly 65 per cent — were in the 21-60 years age group. In the remaining cases, 101 (31.5 per cent) of the deceased were above 60, and 11 (3.5 per cent) in the age group of 0 to 20 years.

By Friday, the death toll in the state rose to 365.

A senior official in the state health department said younger people without any report of confirmed comorbidity constitute almost 20 to 25 per cent of the recent fatalities. “The situation is changing now. We have registered deaths in the state where the person is not old and has shown no comorbidity. Though we do not have an exact number, but out of 10-12 deaths recorded every day, around two to three are young patients without any sign of comorbidity,” the official said.

The age-fatality share of deaths in the state may look alarming for those below 60, but the mortality rate is highest in the 60 plus age group.

Out of the 714 patients above 60 found positive till Wednesday, 14.15 per cent have died. The mortality rate in the age group of 41 to 60 years is 5.42 per cent, and in the 21-40 age group, it is 1.04 per cent. The lowest mortality rate is in the 0-20 age group – 0.52 per cent.

Dr D Himanshu, a professor in the Medicine Department of King George Medical University in Lucknow, said that though an infected person may show no comorbidity, higher deaths among them could be attributed to immunosuppression – partial or complete suppression of the immune response due to an infection.

“What happens in Covid-19 cases is that once a person gets infected, there is always a possibility that existing infections, mainly bacterial, could come in play and make the condition serious. In some people, there are hidden diseases, which we call as congenital immune suppression. As soon as the immunity drops, these problems start showing effects. The infection reduces the immunity of the person further,” said Dr Himanshu, who is also the nodal officer of the KGMU’s Covid ward.

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