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Covid-19: Admissions of younger age groups increase in the Algarve

COVID-19: ADMISSIONS OF YOUNGER AGE GROUPS INCREASE IN THE ALGARVEThe balance of the number of patients admitted to hospitals in the Algarve points to the significant increase in younger age groups in cases of Covid-19 infections in recent weeks. The chairman of the board of directors of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA) says that the trend is to get worse, stressing that there are “a greater number of young inpatients who are ill, who are not known if they will fully recover, or if they are going to have reoccurences”.

Earlier this month, the chairman of the board of directors of CHUA, Ana Varges Gomes, said that the total number of admissions in the two hospital units in the Algarve represents about 60% of the limit of 80 beds defined for the region, with no forecast to open more beds.

The Algarve had 49 patients admitted to Covid-19 wards last week, but 12 of them in intensive care, with a trend towards an increase in admissions among the youngest.

Patients admitted to hospitals in Faro and Portimão are aged between 23 and 67 years old, “a younger age group than was seen in previous admissions” .

“It’s really a younger population that we have hospitalised and that doesn’t have vaccination” , pointed out Ana Varges Gomes, stressing that there are “a greater number of young hospitalized patients who are unwell, who do not know if they will fully recover or if they will be left with long covid” .

Long Covid in young people
“Long covid” refers to the symptoms that remain after recovery from Covid-19 infection, which includes fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cognitive disturbances such as poor memory and concentration.

Although the number of deaths is now proportionally much lower compared to previous waves, thanks to vaccination, long covid is becoming an increasing concern.

With contagion numbers going up, we’re going to have a significant amount of long covid, especially at younger ages where vaccination rates are currently much lower.

Especially in the Algarve, health professionals are apprehensive about the evolution of the pandemic situation, “since people are not complying with what they should, that is, not respecting the recommendations” of the health authorities, warns Ana Varges Gomes.

The Algarve has 450,000 inhabitants to support, but at the height of summer, we now have easily around two million. If people start to get sick with Covid, there is no capacity within the current structure for this type of population increase” , she pointed out.

For her, the epidemiological situation in the Algarve deserves some vigilance , given the significant increase in cases of infections of the disease in recent weeks in younger age groups and given the forecast of an increase in population during the summer.

“At this moment, there is still no prospect of opening more beds, but the situation deserves vigilance due to the increase in cases of infections and for us to take decisions on a daily basis” , she stressed.

Ana Varges Gomes admitted that if the situation in the Algarve deteriorates significantly, the vacations of health professionals could be affected, a possibility already taken up by the secretary of State coordinating the response to Covid-19 in the region.

Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/