Health experts are urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as the Delta variant of the virus is highly contagious and deadly even for younger age groups.
Talking to the Cyprus News Agency, Amalia Hadjiyianni, Scientific Director of Famagusta General Hospital, said that the Delta variant sends younger people to hospitals, with many landing in ICU units.
Hadjiyianni said the youngest patient treated for COVID-19 at Famagusta General, the referral hospital for COVID-19, is 31 years old.
Previous waves of the virus did not affect younger people so much.
“The Referral Hospital is currently catering to 50 patients with COVID-19, seven of whom are in the Acute Care Unit (ACU) as they need closer monitoring.
“The youngest patient is 31 years old and the oldest 89, while the average age of the patients in the hospital is 60.
“The Delta variant is so aggressive that it affects young people, resulting in sudden and rapid deterioration of their health, with patients being sent to Intensive Care Units.
“Initially, patients may be admitted to the hospital with mild symptoms, low oxygen needs and, later, from day 5 to day 7, they present sudden acute respiratory failure.
“Severe pneumonia causes respiratory problems that result in patients needing to be intubated. Unfortunately, some of the patients do not make it”.
Hadjiyianni said just eight out of the 50 patients at Famagusta General had been vaccinated against the virus, meaning that 84% has not got a jab.
“The only weapon we have to deal with the coronavirus is vaccination, but at the same time, those who are vaccinated should not forget the measures of personal protection, that is to wear a mask and keep to social distancing.
“COVID-19 vaccines offer an increased level of protection and protect against serious disease, but because immunity decreases over time, personal protective measures must be observed.”