Omikron makes less sick – mostly. The ventilation rate has halved. However, the mortality rate of those who were ventilated was more than 50 percent. This was the result of a recent evaluation. It is the first data that is “somewhat surprising”, judges intensive care physician Christian Karagiannidis.

The corona variant Omicron has spread at breakneck speed. But it has made people less ill – at least in terms of tendency. This has also been shown in the German hospitals. It was often cramped there during the omicron waves, partly because of a lack of staff. But the intensive care units usually did not reach their limits. A current evaluation by the Scientific Institute of the Health Insurance AOK (WIdO) now provides the first data on omicron mortality from the clinics.

1. The ventilation rate has halved.

That is the good news. Specifically, the proportion of hospitalized patients aged 18 and over who were dependent on ventilation has halved from 22 to eleven percent compared to the two previous waves of infection.

2. The mortality rate of those who were ventilated was still more than 50 percent.

So there was no positive development for the particularly seriously ill patients. Even without ventilation, the mortality rate was 13 percent, with ventilation it was 53 percent.

3. Treatments of children for Covid-19 increased significantly.

According to the analysts, the significant increase in the proportion of children and adolescents treated in hospital because of Covid-19 among all patients is also noteworthy: in the first three months of 2022 it was between ten and eleven percent. For comparison: In the fourth wave from October to December 2021, this value was still two to three percent.

With the available data, the WIdO is updating an evaluation from April 2022, which was published on the occasion of the presentation of the 2022 Hospital Report. The basis is the billing data of the AOK-insured persons. They represent about a third of the German population. For the Covid-19 analyses, the data of around 190,000 patients with a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis and a main diagnosis relevant to this disease were evaluated. The study includes those admitted to German hospitals from February 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022. !function(){var t=window.addEventListener?”addEventListener”:”attachEvent”;(0,window[t])(“attachEvent”==t?”onmessage”:”message”,function(t){if (“string”==typeof

The scientific director of the intensive care bed register (Divi), Christian Karagiannidis, writes on Twitter: “First data on omicron mortality from German hospitals, which are somewhat surprising.” But they match the values ​​in the intensive care register. Here, too, the number of people receiving ventilation has roughly halved. Overall, this is a good development because the number of serious cases has decreased significantly.

However, his conclusion is: “If you are seriously ill, then Omicron is just as dangerous as the previous VOC.” (Variant of concern, alarming variant)

The evaluation took into account that Covid-19 was often a secondary diagnosis during the omicron waves. So many people came to the hospital because of another illness or after an accident and tested positive there.

“With the omicron wave, the proportion of patients who had to be hospitalized because of Covid-19 fell. At the same time, the proportion of those for whom Covid-19 was not the primary reason for treatment for hospitalization increased,” explains WIdO Managing Director Jürgen Klauber. “Therefore, in our current analyses, we only included those patients for whom, in addition to the Covid-19 diagnosis, another main diagnosis relevant to this disease, such as viral pneumonia or an acute respiratory infection, was coded.” Whether those affected vaccinated, boosted or unvaccinated is not included.

Klauber explains the strong increase in the younger age groups with the fact that the omicron wave also reflects the high incidences in hospital treatments.

The present evaluation shows an excerpt of the situation in the hospitals. Since it contains values ​​up to the end of March, it does not take into account the full extent of the BA.5 wave – the variant that is currently circulating in Germany. Therefore, the data cannot be easily transferred to the current situation. On the other hand, they also do not record the long-term consequences of which people may not die until after they have been discharged from the hospital.

But they show: Omikron can make you seriously ill and many people have reasons to protect themselves from it. Basically, however, omicron infections are mostly mild. Because they attack less than Delta deep lung tissue, but rather the upper respiratory tract.

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