The second wave have been proving very lethal for Odisha. Nearly 70 per cent of the Covid-19 fatalities in the month of May and on the first day of June had no other co-morbid conditions. By the virtue of this exceptional trend, the State seems leading the top-5 states in the country where the Covid-19 mortalities with no co-morbid conditions have been very high.
Another shocker to the fore is of the nearly 500 deaths (498) sans any co-morbidities, nearly 40 per cent of them are below the age of 50 years.
THE FATAL WAVE
As per the data available with the State Health Department, the month of May had recorded a total of around 719 Covid-19 fatalities. The big discernible trend observed in the peak month in the State is, a whopping 498 deaths had no co-morbid conditions. And among the deaths sans co-morbidities, nearly 200 mortalities belonged to the age-group of below 50-years.
The data on Covid-19 mortalities released today by the State Health Department puts the toll at 40, the highest ever on a single day in State's Covid-19 history.
"More fatalities in the younger age-group is not a new trend witnessed in Odisha. The mutant virus killing young has been the national trend. But the exceptional trend observed in Odisha is higher proportion of deaths without co-morbidities. In the first wave, the proportion during the peak month had been 30 per cent. But in the second wave, the proportion of deaths sans co-morbidities has been a massive 69.3 per cent in the peak month," observed a very senior official in State Health and Family Department.
ODISHA VERSUS OTHERS
Even as death of Covid-19 positives in the younger age-group (below 50 years) has been the national trend, higher number of fatalities with no co-morbid conditions have been limited to the states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.
The data available with the respective state governments reveals the following:
- Maharashtra: 54 per cent deaths due to Covid-19 have no co-morbid conditions.
- Delhi: The proportion has been around 60 per cent.
- Tamil Nadu: Deaths sans co-morbidities are estimated at over 40 per cent
- Chhattisgarh: The proportion of mortalities without co-morbid condition stood at around 65-69 per cent
- Assam: Deaths without any co-morbid conditions in the State stood at around 30 per cent.
- West Bengal: The proportion has increased to 30 per cent in the second wave as against 22-25 per cent in wave one.
- Himachal Pradesh: The deaths without co-morbid conditions estimated at around 45 per cent.
- Haryana: The estimated proportion is over 31 per cent
- Kerala: Deaths sans co-morbid conditions stood at over 30 per cent.
The comparative analysis of few high-burden states reveals that Covid-19 deaths with no co-morbid conditions have been unexpectedly highest in Odisha.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS BEHIND?
Though the mutant and more lethal variant of the virus infecting younger population has been the prime reason, 'Happy Hypoxia' has been the main reason behind higher proportion of deaths with no other co-morbidities, explained Biswanath Padhi, senior medicine specialist in District Headquarter Hospital, Khordha.
"In fact, hypoxia results when widespread clotting takes place in the smaller blood vessels in the lungs. Extremely lower saturation level means higher incidences of clotting in the lungs. In this condition, vital organs like heart, kidney and brain get severely affected leading to collapse of the patient," he added.
As per highly placed sources in the State Health Department, in nearly 70 per cent of death cases sans co-morbidities, the oxygen saturation level has dropped to as low as 60 per cent. Moreover, speedier deterioration have been observed in younger age-group population who have a history of smoking, the sources added.
HOW THEN HAPPY HYPOXIA?
As per doctors, the medical science terms it as 'Happy Hypoxia' because, in the initial stages of sickness, the Covid-19 patient seems to be 'alright' and 'happy'. It is also known as silent Hypoxia, as it does not prompt any such obvious external signs like shortness of breath in the initial stages.
"Hypoxia refers to very low oxygen levels in the blood. The normal oxygen saturation in the bloodstream of a healthy person is above 94%, but COVID-19 patients display dangerous declines to as low as 40%, " he explained and added that hypoxia is a warning signal for imminent failure of vital body organs like the kidneys, brain and heart.
Significantly, ICMR and IDSP reports have mentioned that dip in oxygen saturation level in blood and consequent breathlessness have been the major symptoms of the second wave in the country.