TAMPA, Fla. - The proportion of those dying of COVID-19 is trending younger.
"You can't describe how horrifying it is to see a 35-year-old person, or 24-year-old mother, gasping for breath," shared Dr. John Sinnott.
Dr. Sinnott works the ICU at TGH and says the current median age in the ICU is around 50. He says most of the patients are not vaccinated.
"A lot of them have no underlying conditions. Often the ones that die have an underlying condition, but many of the seriously ill ones do not," he said.
Florida's death toll has increased by 1,667 in the last month. Because over two-thirds of seniors are vaccinated, those dying now are more likely than before to be younger.
Since the pandemic started, those 45 to 64 made up 15% of deaths in Florida. But in the last month, they made up 22%.
"It is disheartening that we still have these cases and these deaths," said Dr. Jay Wolfson, the health policy dean at USF Health. "The good news is that the death rate and the number of deaths have consistently declined."
Indeed, the seven-day average of deaths hit highs of 185 on August 5 and again on January 28. It was as low as 47 on April 15 but has again trended higher the last two weeks with 77 deaths reported Friday.
Dr. Sinnott is taking the opportunity to urge everyone to get vaccinated.
"This should be an example of total war where we are as a society getting vaccinated," Sinnott said.
He says he has yet to have a patient who has been vaccinated pass away.