By Will Hall, Baptist Message executive editor
BATON ROUGE, La. (LBM) – Data from the Louisiana Department of Health as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate the state is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases among those who are relatively young adults, but with few deaths resulting in this age group.
However, morbidity from the disease is surging among the elderly and those residing in nursing homes.
On Monday, the LDH reported nearly half of new cases affected 18-29 years old.
However, the data pertaining to deaths on the LDH website indicate the disease is most profound in its impact primarily among the elderly and infirm.
ELDERLY/NURSING HOME RESIDENTS AT RISK
In the chart “Additional Data on COVID-19 Deaths in Louisiana” the median age of death is identified as 76 years old. This means half of the deaths caused by COVID-19 occur among those older than 76 years of age.
Furthermore, the chart “Cases/Deaths by Age Group” show COVID-19 adds to that information to show that COVID-19 has taken the lives of 2,157 persons age 70 and older, or 68 percent of the 3,170 COVID-19 deaths in the state as of July 3.
Moreover, supplemental information on “Long-term Care Facilities” shows that 42 percent of all COVID-19 deaths were among nursing home residents (1,294 of the 3,091 total COVID deaths, as of June 29).
YOUNG PEOPLE INFECTED, BUT LARGELY UNAFFECTED
Comparing age groups by cases and deaths:
— 23 percent of total cases (18-29 year olds) have resulted in less than one percent of the deaths
— 16 percent of total cases (70+ year olds) caused 68 percent of the deaths
POOR HEALTH A MAJOR FACTOR
Among the elderly, as well as the rest of the population, across the nation and within Louisiana, underlying health issues are the factors contributing to hospitalizations, ventilator usage and deaths.
In fact, in the state, hypertension was common among 60 percent of those who died. Likewise, diabetes afflicted 37 percent who passed away.
Other diseases listed as deadly contributing conditions are chronic kidney disease (20 percent), cardiac disease (20 percent), and obesity (19 percent).
The Louisiana data pertaining to hospitalizations is not cross-referenced with age. However, national data shows there is a correlation with age across the variables of hospitalizations, ventilator usage and deaths.
Older Louisianans are dying disproportionately to their portion of the state population, and they are experiencing hospitalization and ventilator usage at much higher rates, too.