NEW YORK, Dec 30 () – Within weeks, Omicron edition reported thousands of new COVID-19 hospitalizations among US children, raising new concerns about how many are under the age of 18. Unaffiliated Americans will fare in the new boom.
The average number of daily hospitalizations for children between December 21 and December 27 rose by more than 58% in the past week to 334, compared with nearly 19% for all age groups, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Show. According to the CDC, less than 25% of the 74 million Americans under the age of 18 are vaccinated.
Experts cautioned that Omicron cases are expected to rise even more rapidly across the United States as schools reopen next week after the winter break.
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Doctors say it is too early to determine whether Omicron causes more severe illness in children than other types of coronavirus, but its extremely high transmission potential is a major factor driving hospitalizations .
Dr. Jennifer Nayak, infectious disease specialist and pediatrician at the university, said, “It is going to infect more people and it is infecting more people. We have seen the numbers go up, we have seen that children The number of hospitalizations in the country is increasing.” Rochester Medical Center.
Nayak said, “What we are seeing is that children under the age of five live without vaccination, so there is still a relatively large population of children who are nave, so they have no immunity to this virus. Is.”
Even in New York City, which has some of the highest vaccination rates in the United States, only 40% of 5 to 17-year-olds are fully vaccinated, compared to more than 80% of adults. The city’s health data shows. There is no authorized vaccine for US children under the age of 5.
In New York City, the number of people 18 years of age and younger hospitalized rose from 22 beginning on December 5 to 109 between December 19 and December 23. Children under the age of 5 years represented almost half of the total cases. From December 19 to December 23, the number of hospitalizations of people 18 years and below across the state stood at 184, up from 70 from December 5 to December 11.
Other parts of the United States are also seeing an increase in cases of children. According to data from the Ohio Hospital Association, there has been a 125% increase in hospitalizations in Ohio among children 17 and younger in the past four weeks.
Florida, New Jersey and Illinois have each seen at least a seven-day average daily hospitalization of underage patients with the coronavirus over the past week, CDC data shows.
Young children have much lower vaccination rates than other age groups, with some families hesitant to introduce a new vaccine to their youngest members.
Fewer than 15% of children aged 5-11 have been around since Pfizer Inc. (PfE.N) and BioNTech’s COVID-19 shot were authorized for that age group in late October, federal data show. has been fully vaccinated.
The more severe COVID-19 symptoms they are seeing in children hospitalized this month include difficulty in breathing, high fever and dehydration, doctors said.
Pediatric infectious disease specialist Rebecca Madan said, “They need help breathing, they need help getting oxygen, they need extra hydration. They’re sick enough to end up in the hospital, and that’s it.” It’s scary for doctors, and it’s scary for parents.” at New York University’s Langone Health Hospital System.
The cases increased as schools closed for the winter holidays. Ahead of the holiday, more than a thousand classrooms have been either completely or partially separated because of the outbreak, according to New York City data. The city said it would open schools for about one million children as planned on January 3, after the district’s winter break.
Research has shown that a substantial amount of COVID-19 transmission among children occurs outside schools. But Madan and others expect a new surge in cases among children over the holidays, which could disrupt class attendance.
“The virus has just been able to get out, what parents have done is to shelter those children,” said William Schaffner, a leading infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
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Reporting by Carl O’Donnell in New York and Ahmed Aboulenin in Washington DC; Editing by Michelle Gershberg and Aurora Ellis
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