Omicron variant sending unvaccinated, younger population to hospital
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The omicron variant continues to send people to the hospital, leaving some others with a difficult road to recovery.
”Families are devastated obviously. This month alone we’ve had 30 deaths [at Baptist Health Louisville] of COVID,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chuck Anderson said.
As the halfway point for January approaches, Anderson believes the death toll could still rise.
As of Saturday, there are 115 patients in the ICU under COVID Critical care, and that’s just at Baptist Health Louisville.
After seeing a peak in cases, local doctors have grouped two types of people who were seriously affected by COVID.
”Younger [people in their] 20′s, 30′s, 40′s, 50′s, 60′s, and vast majority are unvaccinated,” Anderson said. “There’s another group of people [in their] 60′s, 70′s, 80′s who have other illnesses, the other people who have immune suppressant drugs.”
He explained those those include people who take drugs to help with various other issues, like skin conditions or other bodily conditions requiring the certain types of immunosuppressant drug use.
Anderson said his medical staff have noticed it has been hard to get those in the ICU back on the track to good health.
Across the river, the same groups are finding themselves in Clark County hospitals, according to the County’s Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel.
Because the omicron variant is so infectious, people who don’t have any protection or even the booster shot get hit harder.
”Some people have undiagnosed conditions, you don’t figure it out until you get in and say, ‘okay, this is why this person is susceptible’.” Yazel said. “It’s hitting our overweight population extra hard.”
Yazel said many patients are having longer hospital stays, therefore it could be weeks before accurate mortality rate numbers are in for this wave of COVID cases.
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