The average age of patients admitted to hospitals for COVID-19 is dropping, Aktualne.cz reports

In the fall, the majority of people hospitalized for COVID-19 were over the age of 80, but now almost every tenth person admitted is under the age of 50, according to multiple health care facilities in the Czech Republic.

Petr Husa, head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University Hospital Brno, says that since December, the number of younger patients is clearly on the rise.

“Since last December, the number of patients who are of a younger age has increased, with many born after 1970. Patients between the ages of 20 and 30 are no exception, but I haven’t calculated the exact numbers.”

Tomáš Vymazal, head of anaesthesiology, resuscitation, and ICU at Motol University Hospital reports the same pattern. 

“The trend is obvious. Previously, patients over the age of 65 were the majority, but now there is a number of patients who are around the age of 50.” 

The Ministry of Health confirms these findings as well, reporting the average COVID-19 patient as being 67 years old now, down from 70. In November, people under the age of 65 made up for 28.6% of COVID-19 patients, but just last week this number has risen to 35.5%.

Lucie Chytilová, a spokeswoman for 4 hospitals in Hradec Králové, says that the idea the virus only affects people with pre-existing health conditions is simply untrue. 

“It cannot be said that these are always people with pre-existing health problems. The virus also severely affects individuals of working age who otherwise appear to be healthy.”

In November, the amount of hospitalized patients over 80 years old was 25%, but last week that number had fallen to 13%.

According to Tomáš Vymazal, this trend may have something to do with elderly people receiving the vaccine and being more likely to stay at home or follow restrictions. 

“Adherence to hygienic measures in facilities for the elderly may play a role. Perhaps, it’s the vaccinations, and perhaps younger people are more active and more exposed to the virus.”