Young people are dying at home with COVID-19 – Ontario
Ontario is seeing a great number of young Canadians dying at home with COVID-19, with an average of two people a day.
Over the past two weeks there has been 25 deaths of people who have died at home, 16 were under the age of 60.
“This is a significant number that we’ve been involved with, compared to earlier in the pandemic,” said. Dr. Dirk Huyer, Ontario’s chief coroner and coordinator of the province’s outbreak response team.
“This is a difference in what we’ve seen from a risk factor,” he added.
In a press conference on April 22, Dr. Huyer said that more people have died at home before being able to seek medical care for COVID-19 during the third wave.
“These people have not been able to obtain health care because the disease affected them so quickly and so seriously, leading to deaths in the community, which we did not see in the Office of the Chief Coroner in the first wave,” he said.
People who have died at home ranged in age from in their 30s to in their 80s.
According to Dr. Huyer, age has become the most significant predictor for COVID-19 cases and, “this is a younger group than we’ve seen before.”
During the first waves of the pandemic, those over the age of 60 and long-term-care homes were hit the hardest and were most at risk.
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“We are still evaluating and trying to understand all of the circumstances,” he said on Thursday. “But certainly, it’s notable in the face that this is a younger population … who are suffering serious consequences in the form of death in a quicker period of time than we saw in the past.”
All of those who have died at home have either been symptomatic, with either a positive test or had been in close contact with another positive case
Although these people exhibited symptoms, they weren’t serious enough for hospitalization, but then rapidly deteriorated. Dr. Huyer says that symptoms are individual to the person so it’s hard to determine who needs medical care.
“The vast majority of people who suffer from COVID-19 do not get seriously ill, but there are many that do.”
Dr. Huyer and his team are currently investigating the details of these deaths, trying to determine what caused these people to deteriorate so quickly.
“I don’t know, it could be related to the significant number that we have, because this is the highest number of cases infections that we’ve had in the pandemic”
He wanted to bring this trend to the attention of the public as hospitals and intensive care units hit unparalleled numbers. Ontario has seen a record-breaking number of 806 COVID-19 patients in ICUs.
Health officials reported over 4,500 new cases on Friday and another 34 deaths.
Dr. Huyer advises following the public health measures that are in place to help curb the spread of the virus. “That will reduce cases, reduce illness, reduce hospitalizations, reduce deaths.”
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