Drosten warns of a “dicey” situation: Why over 50s is now becoming a Covid risk group

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The number of infections is rising, hopes for more relaxation are fading and fear of overcrowded intensive care units is growing. But it is no longer people over 80 that medical professionals are concerned about. The baby boomers, best and silver age groups, i.e. the age groups of 50, 60 and 70 year olds, are threatened.

The third wave is rolling and inundating Germany with the highly contagious British coronavirus variant B.1.1.7. It now accounts for two thirds of all new infections. The lockdown that was in place until recently could not prevent this wave from building up.

And the vaccine has so far only been enough to immunize the particularly vulnerable people in old people’s and nursing homes. They made up 40 percent of Covid 19 victims in the 2020 pandemic. 89 percent of all who died in the first and second wave of or with Corona were over 70, the proportion of people over 80 was over 70 percent.

Almost all of the home residents are now protected from a serious illness, and the other elderly people in Group 1 are slowly making progress. Those who are still unprotected are all younger people who do not work in the medical-care sector. For healthy under-50-year-olds this is not so bad medically, because most of them cope with an infection without symptoms or with harmless cold symptoms.

Ingredients for a precarious situation: mutation, vaccination stop, relaxation

For the unvaccinated over-50-year-olds, however, things can now get “tricky”, as Christian Drosten put it in the NDR podcast “Coronavirus Update”, episode 80. The Charité virologist describes the epidemiological situation in Germany as “currently not good” because of the mixed situation “increasing numbers of infections due to B.1.1.7 plus lack of vaccine plus loosening”.

He regrets the development of the Astrazeneca vaccine, said the pandemic advisor to the federal government. Because in view of the short supply quantities of all approved vaccines, we need this vaccination. The situation will worsen anyway, said Drosten with a view to the gloomy prognoses of the Robert Koch Institute.

In the current RKI management report, an extrapolation gives the incidence at Easter at 300 – with an increasing trend. “Shortly after Easter we will have a situation like around Christmas,” said the virologist. You will then become more difficult in the further course because of the mutant. The range of possible incidence values ​​is forecast to be between 200 and 500.

Generation over 50 as a new risk group: not vaccinated, but not without risk

April will be risky weeks for most 50 to 70 year olds. Because this age group has certainly not yet been vaccinated. And many of them are not free of risk factors for a severe course of Covid, for example because they have high blood pressure, heart disease or are overweight. According to the RKI, around 40 percent of 50 to 54-year-olds are at risk, and more than 50 percent of 55 to 59-year-olds.

Karl Lauterbach, whose warnings and forecasts have unfortunately all too often proven correct in the course of the pandemic, recently said, for example: “Many underestimate how hard the third wave will now affect 50 to 80-year-olds. They are too young for the vaccination and too old for an easier course. ”In addition, one in three infected people can expect long-term consequences.

The latest findings on the British variant of Sars-CoV-2 also do not help calm down. Several studies from Great Britain suggest that B.1.1.7 is not only more easily transmitted, but also more dangerous than the original variant of the virus. The result: 28 days after a positive PCR diagnosis, the risk of dying from Covid 19 disease was more than 60 percent higher for the variant than for the original virus.

Drosten: B.1.1.7 brings more younger patients to the intensive care unit

A Danish study shows similar figures for the risk of hospital admission after a positive PCR test. Drosten assumes that the risks of a severe course of infection with the variant are actually significantly higher than with the original virus. “And that is not good news, especially in these times and in this current news situation,” the virologist sums up.

The current appeal from intensive care physicians to return to lockdown immediately does not sound like scare tactics against this backdrop. Christian Karagiannidis, scientific director of the DIVI intensive care register, told the rbb that he very much hope that the federal states will enforce the emergency brake of an incidence value of 100. In view of the increasing number of infections caused by the British virus variant, the intensive care doctor fears “another 5000, 6000 patients in the intensive care unit”.

As the pandemic continues, the intensive care units will fill up again – this time with younger patients.

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Drosten warns dicey situation #50s Covid risk group

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