NewsIncidence back over 50: how is the pandemic developing?

Incidence back over 50: how is the pandemic developing?

The corona incidence rises and rises. The threshold of 50 – an important political mark for a long time – has now been passed. Should we be concerned? Some more, some less.

Berlin – First the good news: People with full vaccination protection only get seriously ill with Corona in relatively few cases in Germany – even mild illnesses are significantly less common than those who have not been vaccinated. This is shown by a new evaluation by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

A concise example: Most recently, the proportion of people with full vaccination protection among all corona intensive care patients aged 18 to 59 was 2.4 percent.

Accordingly, the RKI classifies the health risk for vaccinated people as moderate. “For those who have been vaccinated, the situation is still relatively relaxed,” says Hajo Zeeb from the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology at the request of the dpa.

Most of the sick people in the hospital are not vaccinated

The situation is different with unvaccinated people – they made up the majority of the sick and those treated in hospital in the end. And with that, the bad news: The number of people who are verifiably infected with the coronavirus within a week is increasing rapidly. It has tripled since the beginning of August. The RKI speaks of the beginning of the fourth wave – not least because of the more contagious Delta variant. The seven-day incidence rose above 50 for the first time since May at the weekend (Sunday: 54.5).

The rise in incidences is already having an impact. According to the RKI, the number of corona patients in hospitals is increasing again, so most cases are in the 35 to 59-year-old group.

Numbers are warning signs

“The current infections and rising levels of course particularly threaten all those who have been vaccinated and those who have not yet been infected,” says Zeeb. The numbers “should really be a warning sign and motivator to get vaccinated”. The vaccination rate in Germany has decreased significantly in the past few weeks. So far, almost 60 percent of the German population has been fully vaccinated.

How could the infection process develop further? “We’re back in an exponential phase at the moment,” says Zeeb. A nationwide incidence of 100 could be achieved in just over two weeks. “The 200 and 500 could be reached in four to seven weeks if the course remains unchanged, if everything else remains the same.” However, it should be noted that there are factors that influence the situation. For example, people’s behavior can change without political intervention. Because of the restrictions still in place, Zeeb does not expect the nationwide incidence to rise above 200.

From 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week, “a considerable burden on the intensive care units” with more than 3000 intensive care patients at the same time can be expected, provided the vaccination rate is not increased significantly, according to an analysis by several German doctors presented last week. There are currently well under 1000 corona patients in intensive care.

Significantly more infections among younger people

It is noticeable that there are currently significantly more infections among younger people. For example, people in their early 20s – who are vaccinated much less often – have recently been infected more than ten times more often than those between 65 and 84 years of age. There are also major regional differences – even if it is not entirely clear why. The incidence in North Rhine-Westphalia is around 100, in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia only around 15.

The regional differences are likely to have something to do with mobility and contact intensity, says Zeeb. “But we have often seen in the past that these are snapshots and that the differences will soon be aligned again or presented differently. You shouldn’t make too much of it. “

Zeeb only considers a tightening of the corona rules to be necessary if all corona parameters, for example the number of hospitalizations and the occupancy of intensive care beds, go up significantly. “Certainly at first in the area of the permitted size of gatherings, intensified wearing of masks and then, if necessary, specific vaccination obligations for staff in sensitive areas, such as care for the elderly and the sick – but it would be better to make a great joint effort to spread the vaccination even further.” Dpa

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