The latest data, unveiled on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), finds the U.S. grappling with a concerning surge in hospitalizations due to Covid, marking an unsettling fourth consecutive week of escalating admissions.
Spiking Covid hospitalizations
Startling figures reveal that during the week ending on August 5th, the nation saw a staggering 10,320 new COVID-19 hospitalizations. This statistic represents a disquieting 14.3% increase compared to the preceding week, contributing to a disconcerting overall surge of 64% since the end of June.
The most pronounced surge in hospitalizations is predominantly concentrated in the Southeastern region of the country. States such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee have also witnessed an alarming rise. Meanwhile, even on the West Coast, California is grappling with a 40% surge in COVID-19-related hospitalizations over the past month.
In the realm of emergency medicine, the situation is equally troubling. Nationwide, emergency department visits for patients diagnosed with COVID 19 have skyrocketed by an astonishing 122%.
The percentage of admitted patients with COVID-19 has shown a significant escalation as well, surging from 0.63% to 1.4% across all age groups over a month.
Of particular concern are the spikes in children under 12 years of age and adults over 75 years, who are experiencing rates of 1.93% and 2% respectively.
In Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, the rate of COVID-19 emergency room visits for children aged 11 and under has surpassed that of older adults.
A worrisome trend
Dr. Otto Yang, an infectious diseases expert at UCLA, expressed his concerns about this disconcerting trend. “It’s certainly a worrisome trend,” he noted.
Sheena Cruickshank, an accomplished immunologist and professor in biomedical sciences and public engagement at the University of Manchester, pointed out that the situation is compounded by the virus’s unique attributes. “We have to watch out for it because it has a growth advantage and there is some evidence to indicate that it can avoid the immune response [more easily than some circulating variants],” she warned.
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