Bengaluru, April 7, 2020: Nearly half of Karnataka’s COVID-19 patients fall in the 21-40 age group, belying popular belief that it is the aged who are at higher risk of the infection. Data from the health and family welfare department, analysed by TNIE, shows that 81 cases, or 50 per cent of the first 163 positive cases in the state, are in this age group. “The data is yet to be analysed and put out in public domain,” a health department official said.
Individuals aged 31-40 years account for 27 per cent of the confirmed cases, while patients in the age bracket of 21-30 years make up for 23 per cent of the cases. While 9 per cent of the patients are aged up to 20 years, 24 per cent of the cases belong to the 41-60 age group.
Further analysis of the data revealed that 12 individuals in the age group of 13-20 have been tested positive for the disease. Three children aged up to 10 years, including an infant, are also infected.
According to experts, anyone reason cannot be pinpointed for individuals aged 31-40 years accounting for a large number of COVID-19 cases in the state, or classifying youngsters as being more prone to the infection than others.
Manipal Group of Hospitals chairman and nephrologist Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, who is part of the COVID-19 Task Force, said, “Along with the age group of patients, one must also look at the population... If you look at the data carefully, senior citizens are also affected in India.” He stated that the 31-40 age group is more mobile than the rest, and has travelled abroad.
Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases director Dr C Nagaraja said that co-morbidities could also be reasons for younger people getting infected by the coronavirus. “There are many cases of diabetes, hypertension, smoking and alcoholism in this age group, which need to be factored,” Dr Nagaraja said.
Among the COVID-19 positive cases in the state, 24 (14.7 per cent) are aged 61-70 years, and 4 (2.5 per cent) are aged 71-80 years. None aged above 81 years has tested positive for the virus till date.
Dr Nagaraja said, “We are seeing deaths in the high-risk category -- elderly people with co-morbid conditions like diabetes, kidney and cardiac ailments.”
Four have succumbed to the virus in Karnataka and all of them were aged above 60 years. This also means that youngsters should be more responsible, as there are high chances of them passing on the virus to older people living with them, said Anant Bhan, adjunct professor and researcher.