Covid morbidity rising over past weeks in Latvia

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The lowest morbidity in Covid-19 this year was in late May and early June. Since then, morbidity rates have been climbing for two weeks. Latvia is not unique in that respect, and it will likely not get any better this year, Latvian Radio reported June 21.

In many parts of Europe, the Covid-19 incidence rates have resumed rising in the last two weeks, said Jurijs Perevoščikovs from the DIsease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC). He specifically highlighted Portugal, where morbidity rates have been rising for two months. This is due to an outbreak of a new sub-type of Covid-19 Omicron locally in Portugal. It has not yet spread as much elsewhere. In other countries, the rise is more due to human behavior, said Perevoščikovs.

"The increase is probably due to the human behavior typical of summer – people travel, people communicate intensively, interact. Festivals and events are now in full swing everywhere. And in previous years, such summer elevations were seen," Perevoščikovs said.

The average incidence rate of the last seven days has already reached 200 cases a day. The proportion of positive tests has also increased.

"From 7% last week to around 10%, this increase was observed. But it should be noted that we are not testing more – so the number of tests has not affected this slight increase. In hospitals, we are observing that over the last seven days the number of patients has also increased. Early last week, there were an average of 26 patients with the primary diagnosis of Covid-19, but 44 patients in the first three days of this week. The number of deaths has declined over the past seven days," the epidemiologist said.

Perevoščikovs said that, looking at recent 25 consecutively admitted patients, 18 were above 60 years of age, and five were children. 13 of these 25 patients had not been vaccinated and three of them had already contracted the illness for the second time. Among the 12 vaccinated, the vaccine had been received a long time ago.

A very similar profile of the “average Covid-19 patient” was also drawn by the infectologist Uga Dumpis.

“At this point, the most severely affected are patients with immunosuppression and seniors over the age of 70. A large proportion of immunosuppressed patients have been vaccinated, but they have not been vaccinated sufficiently many times since they should already have four rounds of vaccination at this point. And there are completely unvaccinated seniors, but there are also those who have been vaccinated only twice,” said Dumpis.

He believes we are currently at the lowest morbidity point and it will not get better in the future.

There are also various new subtypes of Covid-19 Omicron, but they do not seem to be causing any major problems at this time. Dumpis believes that, as soon as autumn approaches, there will be a need for a further booster for risk groups, but until then producers might have succeeded in creating shots that would work specifically on the Omicron.

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