Coronavirus in Karnataka: As Covid-19 fatalities spike, deaths of people under-50 slowly rising in Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: There has been an increase — albeit a slow one — in the number of people under the age of 50 years dying due to Covid-19 in the state. Until now, the number of fatalities in this category was deemed miniscule, but they now account for about a quarter of all deaths, a share much higher than in the previous months.
With overall deaths increasing multifold in July, the government and experts reiterate that reducing the number of fatalities will be the most critical aspect of managing the pandemic in the coming weeks. But, at this time, the fact that more people who aren’t seniors dying is seen to be worrying.

More than one expert TOI spoke with said once a person has been diagnosed with Covid-19, authorities have not been able to carry out detailed investigations and they are mostly going by case history and patient record. Many of the under-50 fatalities may have had other comorbidities related to respiratory disorders or pre-existing heart conditions. And there is no way of knowing for sure since autopsies cannot be performed.
Dr CN Manjunath, member, Karnataka Covid-19 task force, said: “A number of young and middle-aged people are now succumbing. While it primarily is a respiratory disease, we’ve found that 15% to 20% have cardiac involvement as Covid-19 is also a disease that promotes clot formation. Sometimes clots are formed not only in the lungs but also in the heart.”
This, he said, could be the reason for younger people dying because of the disease. While the sub-clinical (which is not evident clinically) involvement of the heart is about 30% or more, clinical (symptomatic) involvement is about 10% to 15%. “Covid-19 can also cause heart attacks,” Dr Manjunath said.
Experts say a number of inflammatory substances are released during this infection, which can cause collapse of the arteries. Investigations done in China and published recently, Manjunath said, have shown that 27% of the subjects had shown heart damage.
Analysis of data up to July 29 shows that 526 of the 2,147 deaths in the state were people aged under-50, while the figure was two out of 19 as on April 30 (see graphic).
Dr Giridhara Babu, member of ICMR task force on research and surveillance and Karnataka Covid task force, said most of such fatalities could be those with undiagnosed comorbidities.
“Forget Covid for a minute. Studies have shown that one in three adults have hypertension, but not more than 50% of them get tested or are aware of the underlying condition,” Dr Babu said. “We ourselves conducted another study across nine states that shows more than 50% of those with diabetes learn about it only after they lose their eyesight. So, I think most ‘young’ people dying because of Covid could be those who are unaware of a comorbidity, which means even doctors treating them wouldn’t know.”
Dr Babu went on to say, “It is time to dedicate resources to understanding the ways in which Covid-19 impacts us so as to devise appropriate strategies.”

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Sagar Biswas

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