Why Do Young People in Latin America Die More from COVID-19?

    An alarming trend that should alert us all

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    The more developed countries with older populations were more concerned about the potential mortality of the Pandemic, but in Latin America, with a younger population, the problem is being as serious or worse.

    For young people in the region, the risk of dying is much higher than it would be in a developed country. There is also an increased chance of getting complicated by the infection. This was alerted by an investigation by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in which an attempt is made to explain the phenomenon.

    Young people with fewer opportunities

    “An average positive patient for COVID-19 in the age group of 40 to 49 years in the sample of Colombia and Mexico has statistically the same average probability of dying as a patient in the age group of 60 to 69 years in Canada or the United States”, alerts the IDB analysis.

    To attempt an explanation, three general hypotheses were tested:

    Higher contagion rate: the young sector of the Latin American population would be more exposed to contagion. This would be influenced, for example, by the lack of opportunities for topics such as teleworking.

    Greater difficulty in recovery: hospital care is more complex in the area and ICUs are less available for young patients.

    Combination: both previous factors could be added and be enhanced by the difficulty of having measures against COVID-19 such as distancing or drinking water.

    Regarding the middle-aged population, the IDB also found that Latin America this segment had more risk factors than in developed countries.

    Dilemmas facing the vaccine

    The IDB’s findings generate a conflict regarding the global vaccination strategy against COVID-19. Under the general trend of greater vulnerability among older adults, the obvious thing would be to vaccinate this group first while the young population is more active. With the risks identified, however, the recommendations should be “tropicalized”.

    “Our responses to the crisis must pay particular attention to other factors, such as pre-existing medical conditions, housing conditions and access to health care, to protect people’s lives as we move towards the necessary economic recovery”, indicated the Bank.

    Resonance Costa Rica
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