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Monday, January 24, 2022

‘Fire is here’: US still struggles with deltoid variant

Author: HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH

While all eyes are on a new and little-studied variant of the omicron, the delta form of coronavirus has yet to wreak havoc in the United States, sending record numbers of patients to hospitals in the Midwest and New England.

“Omicron is a spark that looms on the horizon. The Delta Option is the fire that’s here today, ”said Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the State Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Maine, where an unprecedented 334 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of mid-week.

On Wednesday, the United States reported the first known omicron infection in a fully vaccinated person who returned to California from South Africa, where the variant was first identified just over a week ago.

Two more cases in the US were confirmed on Thursday. One was from a Colorado woman who recently traveled to southern Africa. Another was a Minnesota man who attended an anime convention in New York City shortly before Thanksgiving, which drew nearly 50,000 people. Minnesota officials said he did not travel overseas. This suggests that the variant has begun to spread in the United States.

But much is unknown about the omicron, including whether it is more infectious than previous versions, makes people worse, or more easily discourages vaccines, or destroys the immunity people get from an attack of COVID-19.

The extrainfectious delta variant currently accounts for nearly all cases in the US and continues to cause distress at a time when many hospitals are grappling with a shortage of nurses and large numbers of patients undergoing procedures that were delayed at the onset of the pandemic. …

There are fears that Omicron will force more patients into hospitals, and maybe more.

“It’s really easy for me, I can’t imagine,” said Dr. Natasha Bhuyan, a family doctor from Phoenix who was also badly affected. “Will we see another spike in cases even higher than what we are seeing now? What will this do to our health care system? What will this do to our hospitals? “

Two years after the outbreak began, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 780,000 Americans and the number of deaths is close to 900 per day.

U.S. COVID-19 cases and deaths have roughly halved since the delta peaks in August and September, but with an estimated 86,000 new infections per day, the numbers are still high, especially ahead of the holidays, when people travel and gather with them. a family.

With the onset of cold weather, when more and more people go to their homes, hospitals are under stress.

“The delta is not abating,” said Dr. Andre Kalil, an infectious disease physician at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Nebraska said Tuesday that 555 people in hospital with COVID-19 are the highest since last December, when vaccine introduction began.

Vermont reported the highest daily COVID-19 cases at 604 on Thursday, two days after hospitalizations peaked at 84. New Hampshire, once the leader in early vaccinations, is now second only to Michigan in new cases. cases per capita. over the past two weeks.

Read Also:  Friday COVID-19 update: 5685 cases and 62 deaths reported, including adolescents

In Minnesota, which has the third highest number of new cases per capita, the Pentagon sent medical teams to two major hospitals last month to treat doctors and nurses, with another team due to arrive on Friday.

“This fourth wave, I can state quite clearly, has hit Minnesota harder than any previous wave,” said Dr. Timothy Johnson, president of the Minnesota Branch of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

He said hospitals are struggling with a combination of nurse shortages, fatigue and patients receiving treatment that had to be delayed at the start of the crisis. “Now these chickens are returning home to spend the night for a while,” he said.

At the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where a military medical team was dispatched, the number of COVID-19 patients has doubled since September, although it remains below pandemic highs, spokeswoman Christine Hill said.

“And this is about the upcoming holidays,” she said.

Military groups have also traveled to Michigan, where hospitals are grappling with more COVID-19 patients than at any other time during the pandemic.

Dr. Pauline Park, who treats critically ill patients at the University of Michigan Public Health in Ann Arbor, called the latest outbreak “heartbreaking.” One COVID-19 patient, a woman in her 20s, died during Thanksgiving. Another, a mother with young children, is in a machine designed to replace her lungs.

In Arizona, where students in dozens of classrooms have been quarantined, more than 3,100 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Wednesday – numbers similar to the disastrous summer of 2020. The volume of hospital beds fell to a pandemic low.

Bhuyan said her patient with a blood clot in her lung was discharged instead of hospitalized. The rest of the patients wait for hours in the emergency room.

“It’s just complicated because it seems like we are actually going back in time even though we have these vaccines, which are such a great weapon for us,” she said.

While about three dozen countries around the world reported omicron infections, including India on Thursday, numbers are small outside South Africa, where more than 170 cases have been confirmed. World health authorities have yet to link any deaths to the omicron.

The delta option continues to cause serious turmoil in Europe, including Germany and Austria. South Korea is also seeing a delta-induced surge that has resulted in record high hospital admissions and death rates.

On Thursday, in Germany, where the number of new cases of COVID-19 infection in 24 hours exceeded 70,000, the unvaccinated were banned from visiting non-essential shops, cultural and entertainment facilities. Lawmakers are expected to take over the overall mandate for vaccines in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Austria has extended its isolation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that these measures are necessary, as hospitals may be overloaded: “The situation in our country is serious.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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