Rise in COVID child admissions in New York is a warning

A jump in pediatric COVID-19 hospital admissions in New York is a warning to get more children vaccinated in California and elsewhere as the Omicron variant continues to rise, according to California health officials.

The Omicron wave hit New York ahead of California, where cases have been rising in the past week. California officials said they are monitoring the increase in child admissions.

“Unfortunately, NY sees one increase in pediatric admissions (primarily among the unvaccinated) and they have similar [5- to 11-year-old] vaccination rates, ”Dr. Erica Pan, the epidemiologist in the state of California, wrote on Twitter. “Please give your children vaccine protection as a gift as soon as possible in our case [numbers] rising rapidly. “

The rise is concentrated in New York City and the surrounding subway area. Officials described pediatric admissions quadrupling in New York City in recent weeks.

Half of the children admitted to hospitals are younger than 5 years and unable to be vaccinated. Three-quarters of the 12–17-year-olds admitted to COVID-19 hospitals were not fully vaccinated, and 100% of the 5–11-year-olds admitted to hospitals were not fully vaccinated.

The warning about pediatric hospitalizations comes when California’s public health director and health worker, Dr. Tomás Aragón, warned that state models predict hospital increases for California.

“Why? Omicron is so contagious that it finds unvaccinated / non-immune people most vulnerable to hospitalization and death,” Aragón said. wrote.

Aragon urged people to be vaccinated and boosted; to test before risky events as well as three to five days after them; and consider skipping or postponing high-risk indoor gatherings. Aragón also suggested improving ventilation and air filtration and improving the fit and quality of masks.

Health experts have increasingly encouraged people to upgrade their masks from fabric masks alone. A more protective mask-wearing setup involves a fabric mask over a surgical mask, which improves the fit; an even more improved setup involves wearing those of higher quality, such as a KF94, KN95 or N95 mask.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser, recently invited people not to go to the kind of indoor parties where dozens of people attend whose vaccination status you do not know. Fauci said it is safer for people to attend smaller gatherings with family and friends at home, where everyone is known to be vaccinated and boosted, and even safer if people get quick tests just before the event.

Fauci told ABC on Sunday that recent data from the UK shows that a lower percentage of newly infected people in its Omicron wave need hospitalization.

“Interestingly, the duration of hospital stays was lower, the need for oxygen was lower,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week”. Yet, because Omicron causes so many new infections, the variant can find many more people who have not been immunized and can still result in hospitals being overwhelmed.

Unvaccinated people “are the most vulnerable when you have a virus that is extraordinarily effective at reaching people and infecting them, as Omicron is,” Fauci said in the televised interview. Omicron “could still lead to many hospitalizations in the United States.”

While unvaccinated people are most at risk of contracting the virus and suffering from serious illness, mutations in the Omicron variant increase the risk of breakthrough infections among those vaccinated. Nevertheless, vaccinated people, especially those who are boosted, are generally expected to be protected from serious illness and death unless they have a weakened immune system.

New coronavirus cases rose dramatically through Christmas in Los Angeles County. On Tuesday, 3,052 new cases were reported; Wednesday, 6,509; Thursday, 8,633; Friday, 9,988; Saturday, 11,930; and Sunday, 8,891. Officials warned that the number of coronavirus cases over the weekend is actually underestimated due to delays in reports during the holidays.

At its peak during last winter’s rise, LA County averaged about 16,000 new coronavirus cases a day. Officials have warned that LA County could be on track to see daily case numbers that could break that record, with as many as 20,000 new cases a day.

The percentage of coronavirus tests in LA County that return positive has increased dramatically. For the seven-day period ending Sunday, 10.8% of coronavirus tests had positive results. In comparison, 3.4% of the tests gave positive results for the seven-day period ending on 20 December.

Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 hospital admissions have also increased significantly since December 1, from 569 to 904 at Christmas, an increase of 59%. But the latest figure is far less than it was a year ago, when vaccinations had just been introduced and supply was severely limited; in LA County on December 25, 2020, there were 6,815 people with COVID-19 in LA County hospitals; up from 2,572 on December 1, 2020. At its peak, LA County recorded 8,098 COVID-19 admissions on January 5, a time that coincided with overcrowded hospitals and overcrowded morgues.

Southern California’s COVID-19 hospital admissions are rising faster than the San Francisco Bay Area’s.

Since December 1, the admission rate for COVID-19 in Southern California has increased by about 41%, from 7.7 admissions for every 100,000 residents to 10.8.

In contrast, the Greater San Francisco Bay Area has seen its rate increase by 26%, from 3.8 to 4.8. Experts say it gives cause for concern when the rate is 5 or higher.

The Inland Empire has among the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rates in Southern California; The San Bernardino County rate is 20, and the Riverside County rate is 15. The San Diego County rate is 11; Los Angeles and Ventura counties, 9; and Orange County, 8.

Some experts express hope that areas with high vaccination and masking rates will not be destroyed by an increase in COVID-19 admissions.

Dr. Robert Wachter, president of the UC San Francisco Department of Medicine, wrote Friday that while the number of cases of coronavirus is rising sharply in San Francisco, the number of hospitals is still low.

The bad news, Wachter said, is that Omicron is spreading fast in San Francisco. The good news is that Omicron generally seems to lead to milder disease, especially in vaccinated populations, Wachter wrote on Twitter.

Wachter said he would be far less optimistic in areas with lower vaccination rates. San Francisco has one of California’s highest vaccination rates, with 88% of the population receiving at least one dose. But other areas of the state have lower rates; LA County’s rate is 76%; Orange County, 75%; Ventura County, 74%; Fresno County, 65%; Riverside County, 64%; San Bernardino County, 60%; and Kern County, 56%.

“I would be … far more scared if I was not surprised and boosted. The unvaxxed play a risky hand,” Wachter wrote.

In San Francisco, Wachter wrote, he still expects a bump in hospital admissions, but it “looks unlikely to get overwhelming here.”

In Los Angeles County, officials have expressed concern about the rising case numbers.

“Very high case numbers can easily cause significant stress to our healthcare system if even a small percentage of those infected experience and require hospital treatment,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. An increase in COVID hospitalization can also compromise the treatment of non-COVID patients, such as those suffering from accidents, heart disease and cancer.

Still, LA County can cope with rising case numbers without the hospital system being overwhelmed, Ferrer said, if more people are vaccinated and boosted, wearing masks in indoor public environments and outdoor crowded areas, and avoiding large indoor crowded gatherings.

“Either way, the case numbers are going to increase. But we may be able to handle these case numbers in a way that does not end up stressing our healthcare system and preventing most people from experiencing serious illness and tragedy by passing away, ”Ferrer said.

Unvaccinated people are most likely to become infected with coronavirus and be hospitalized with COVID-19.

During the week-long period ending Dec. 11, for every 100,000 unvaccinated residents, there were 272 residents in LA County who were recently infected with coronavirus. By comparison, for every 100,000 residents who were considered fully vaccinated but had not received a booster, 68 became infected.

Those who had received their booster had the lowest risk of infection: For every 100,000 residents who had received a booster, only 12 were infected that week.

This means that unvaccinated people were 23 times more likely to be infected with coronavirus than vaccinated people who had received a booster shot.

Vaccinated individuals were also far less likely to be hospitalized than unvaccinated individuals.

For every 100,000 unvaccinated residents of LA County, 25 of them were hospitalized in the week ending Dec. 11. In comparison, the admission rate for persons considered fully vaccinated was 1.

“Even when the transmission is skyrocketing, vaccination continues to be extremely protective against hospitalization,” Ferrer said.

Give a Comment