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COVID-19 Hitting Younger People, say Washington State Hospital Leaders

Hospital officials said Monday that a fourth wave of COVID-19 is causing an increase in hospitalizations in Washington, that young people are becoming a larger part of their workload, and that some patients are suffering from more serious disease than earlier in the pandemic. Tom DeBord, the chief operating officer of Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, said, “We are seeing younger patients than what we saw in earlier surges: Patients in their 30s, 40s and 50s are being hospitalized.”

According to Dr. Connie Davis, the organization’s chief medical officer, “the age of the individuals… admitted is mainly in their 40s and 50s,” adding that three patients in their 20s were recently moved away to benefit from extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, an advanced type of life support. Obesity is a common comorbidity among younger patients, according to Davis, and is linked to extreme COVID-19.

Meanwhile, according to Dr. Chris Baliga, an infectious disease physician at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, more than 90 patients were hospitalised with coronavirus late last week across hospitals in the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health system. According to UW Medicine spokeswoman Susan Gregg, the hospital is currently treating 55 COVID-19 patients, which is more than at any point during last summer’s outbreak. In addition, the UW system is seeing an increase in the number of young people who need to be accepted.

The state Department of Health’s hospitalisation data through April 18 supports the rise in Coronavirus patients and the age change that individual hospitals are announcing. Hospitalizations have increased by 40% since the week of March 21, according to the Department of Health.

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