Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Delta surge breaks record amid rising toll on children

By Sudhin Thanawala and Jay Reeves | The Associated Press

Kentucky and Texas join a growing list of states that are seeing a huge spike in the record number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients that is overwhelming doctors and nurses and afflicting more children.

Intensive care units across the country are full of patients extremely ill with the coronavirus – even in places where hospitalizations have yet to peak.

ICU units at Georgia’s Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital typically have space for 38 patients, said Dr. Jyotir Mehta, ICU medical director, and doctors and nurses may only have two or three people who are very ill. On Wednesday, there were 50 COVID-19 patients in the ICU alone, of whom almost half depended on ventilators to breathe.

“I don’t think we have experienced such a serious illness in people, so many people are sick,” Mehta said.

He said that it is difficult to talk to the family members. “They’re grasping for every hope and you’re trying to tell them, ‘Look, this is bad,'” he said. “You have to tell them your loved one isn’t going to make it.”

In New Mexico, top health officials warned Wednesday that the state is nearly a week away from rationing health care. The number of coronavirus patients needing care in hospitals rose by more than 20% in one day.

“We have to choose who gets care and who doesn’t,” warned the state’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. David Schreese. “And we don’t want to get to that point.”

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In Idaho, state leaders called on residents to volunteer to help keep medical facilities running.

Texas and Kentucky on Wednesday reported more COVID-19 patients in their hospitals than at any other time since the pandemic began. At least six other states – Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Mississippi and Oregon – have already broken their own records for hospitalizations.

Nationwide, COVID-19 deaths are running more than 1,100 a day, the highest level since mid-March, and new cases per day average more than 152,000, turning the clock at the end of January. Earlier this week, the number of people with coronavirus in hospital stood at about 85,000, a figure not seen since early February.

The surge is largely driven by the highly contagious delta variant among people who have not been vaccinated. In areas where vaccination rates are particularly low, doctors have urged their communities to vaccinate overburdened hospitals.

He has also warned about the increasing toll of the variant on children and young adults.

Children are now 36% of Tennessee’s COVID-19 cases, Health Commissioner Lisa Piercy said Wednesday, marking another important milestone in the state’s fight against the virus. He said the state had 14,000 pediatric cases in the last seven days – a 57% increase from the previous week.

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In South Carolina, students will be required to wear masks again on school buses starting Monday as COVID-19 cases among children and students continue to rise rapidly.

About 30% of new cases in South Carolina in the past two weeks are in people 20 and younger. According to state officials, during the same time in 2020, around 17% of cases were among children and adolescents.

Anderson López Castillo, a nurse who cares for critically ill COVID-19 patients at UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, said treating people under the age of 16 in critical care is almost a year. On top of the year’s hard work has become an added stress, which left him questioning. choice of a profession.

Nation World News Desk
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