Hospitalization rate in omicron wave dropped significantly

In January 2022 alone there were around 606,000 infections in Austria, according to the updated GÖG fact sheet. That is almost a third of all positive tests reported up to that point in the two-year pandemic. At the same time, in the first month of this year, with 4,070 Covid hospitalizations, there were only a fraction of all hospitalizations of infected people.

Omikron also had to treat proportionately fewer infected people in the intensive care units. From the beginning of the pandemic to the end of January, the hospitalization rate was 0.7 percent, in January alone it was 0.1 percent (377 hospital admissions with 606,459 infections).

Compared to the delta wave, the omicron wave showed a decrease in the hospitalization rate of 65 percent or 81 percent in intensive care units, explained the GÖG. However, the decline in the hospitalization rate was less for the zero to nine and ten to 19 year olds, at 26 and 34 percent, respectively, than for the older age groups. According to previous data, men had a two percent lower risk of being hospitalized than women in the omicron wave, but an 80 percent higher risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit, the experts reported.

In the omicron wave, Covid-19 was noted less frequently as the main diagnosis in hospital patients (61 percent). According to a medical assessment, around 66 to 73 percent of the Covid hospitalizations of the omicron wave can be directly attributed to the coronavirus disease. This is well below the corresponding proportion in the delta phase (recordings from July to December 2021) of 78 percent of coding in the hospital and 83 to 88 percent according to expert estimates.

In addition to January, February was also examined for the mortality of Covid hospital patients in the omicron wave. Despite the lower risk of being hospitalized due to an infection, 8.1 percent of all Covid hospitalized and 27.4 percent of intensive care patients died in the two months. Throughout the course of the pandemic, however, the proportion is significantly higher at 16.2 and 35.3 percent. According to the GÖG, the decline can be attributed to the lower virulence of the omicron variant and to the larger proportion of younger intensive care patients. The analysis of the deaths is still subject to uncertainty because adjustments may still be made due to the last late report of more than 3,000 Covid deaths, according to the updated fact sheet.

At 63.1 years, the average age of the intensive care patients discharged in February 2022 was again closer to the pandemic average of 65 years. In September 2021, he had meanwhile dropped to 56 years. The average length of stay in intensive care units has so far been 13.3 days, in January this value fell to nine days.

(S E R V I C E – https://goeg.at/)

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