More than 100,000 people are hospitalized with Covid-19 in the US — the first time that level has been reached since January — as medical workers say they’re once again struggling to treat waves of patients, says an article published in CNN.
Again from scratch
The latest figure, amid a summer surge in Covid-19 cases driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, is also more than double what it was on the same day last year, when vaccines were not available as they are now.
May a variant of concern
Hospitals and researchers have been saying the vast majority of this year’s hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. The availability of vaccines makes the current hospitalization surge tragic, Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the US Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee, told CNN Wednesday.
“The numbers now … are actually in many ways worse than last August,” Offit said. “Last August, we had a fully susceptible population, (and) we didn’t have a vaccine. Now, we have half the country vaccinated … but nonetheless the numbers are worse.
“The Delta variant is one big game changer,” he said.
Delta variant dominance in US
Covid-19 hospitalizations and cases have soared since late June as the Delta variant gained dominance in the US.
More than 100,317 Covid-19 patients were in US hospitals Wednesday — more than six times higher than the figure was roughly nine weeks ago, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
The only other period that figure was above 100,000 was from late November to early January, when the country saw a major surge in cases.
Fully vaccinated people are far less likely than unvaccinated people to be hospitalized with Covid-19, a recent study from Los Angeles County affirmed.
Infection and hospitalization rates among unvaccinated people were 4.9 and 29.2 times, respectively, those in fully vaccinated persons on July 25, researchers from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health wrote in the study, which was published this week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Very few fully vaccinated people with coronavirus infection went to a hospital: 3.2%, of them were hospitalized, 0.5% were admitted to an intensive care unit and 0.2% required mechanical ventilation, the researchers said.
The study included data on coronavirus infections that occurred in Los Angeles County from May 1 through July 25. The data, which involved both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, included only laboratory-confirmed cases of infection and were representative of infections in the county alone, not the entire United States.
“The findings in this report are similar to those from recent studies indicating that Covid-19 vaccination protects against severe Covid-19 in areas with increasing prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant,” the researchers wrote.
48.3% fully unvaccinated remains threat
The country has averaged more than 152,400 new Covid-19 cases a day over the past week — more than 13 times what the figure was about nine weeks ago, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
With 48.3% of the US still not fully vaccinated, hospitals are straining to keep up with incoming patients as cases rise.
Florida has been hit particularly hard, with the worst per capita Covid-19 hospitalization rate in the country — about 80 per 100,000 people. That’s followed by Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana, each with more than 55 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, according to HHS data.
“I had to turn away a cancer patient that needed an emergency treatment,” Florida oncologist Dr. Nitesh Paryani told CNN. “For the first time in 60 years of my family’s history of treating cancer, we had to turn someone away … We just didn’t have a bed. There was simply no room in the hospital to treat the patient.“
Paryani said his Tampa emergency room recently had a 12-hour wait.
In New Mexico, the acting secretary of health, Dr. David Scrase, said if nothing changes, the state is on track to reach crisis standards of care within the next week to accommodate the continued rise in cases.
Covid-19 intensive care hospitalizations have risen so quickly, officials are having trouble creating accurate charts to illustrate it, Scrase said.
“Because we’re at over 100% capacity, these beds are filled before we get time to make the map,” he said.
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