According to statistics published by Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), 32% of those being hospitalised with coronavirus are under the age of 60.
By the morning of 3 April 2020, 484 Covid-19 related deaths and 19,303 cases of infection were recorded in Switzerland. Of these around 2,850 had been hospitalised of which around 22% were in a serious condition – 380 in intensive case and 260 on ventilators.
Switzerland’s recorded case figure is an unknown percentage of the of the actual number of infections. Test rationing and the absence of case tracking and tracing in Switzerland means many with the virus remain untested and uncounted. Because Switzerland has restricted testing to those with the worst symptoms, many of those uncounted are likely to be healthy cases that will recover without hospitalisation.
Covid-19 is frequently described as a disease affecting older people. However, with 32% of those hospitalised under the age of 60, it is clear that younger people are not all immune to some of the worst effects of the virus. And while a very small percentage of those admitted were under the age of 20 (1.8% of admissions), the percentages rose for those between 20-29 (3.2% of admissions), between 30-39 (4.0% of admissions), between 40-49 (7.2% of admissions) and between 50-59 (16.0% of admissions).
The percentage of hospitalised patients dying were however skewed towards those 70-79 (24% of admissions) and 80+ (64% of admissions). Only 3% of those dying after hospitalisation were under 60.
So far in Switzerland 14 hospitalised people under the age of 60 have died with the virus. 2 between 30-39, 1 between 40-49 and 11 between 50-59.
Underlying health appears to be a significant factor. Across a hospitalised sample of all age groups, 88% of patients had a preexisting underlying illness, the most common being high blood pressure (53%), cardiovascular disease (30%) and diabetes (24%). 42% had developed pneumonia, according to FOPH.