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Us Is Still Fighting the Delta Variant, Omicron Is Complicating It Further

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Jayanth Deshmukh, medtigo Medical News December 4, 2021

While all eyes are on the new and little understood omicron variation, the coronavirus’s delta form is still wreaking havoc in the United Places, sending record numbers of patients to the hospital in various states, particularly in the Midwest and New England.

“Omicron is a glimmer in the horizon.” “The fire that’s here now is the Delta variant,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, where a total of 334 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of midweek.

On Wednesday, the first documented omicron infection in the United States was discovered in a fully vaccinated person returning to California from South Africa. The variety was discovered just over a week earlier. In Minnesota, a second case involving a vaccinated male who had been in New York City was confirmed on Thursday. That would indicate that the variation has started to spread across the country.

But there’s still a lot we don’t know about omicron, such as whether it’s more contagious than prior forms, makes patients worse, or more readily thwarts the vaccination or breaks people’s COVID-19 protection.

For the time being, the extra-contagious delta variety accounts for nearly all cases in the United States. It continues to cause havoc when many hospitals are dealing with nurse shortages and a backlog of patients awaiting treatments were postponed early in the pandemic.

The fear is that omicron would swarm hospitals with even more patients, possibly sicker ones. COVID-19 has killed about 780,000 Americans two years into the outbreak, with about 900 deaths per day.

Since the previous high in August and September, COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States have declined by approximately half, but there are still about 86,000 new infections every day. Hospitals are feeling the strain as the chilly weather brings more people indoors. On Tuesday, Nebraska reported 555 people in the hospital with COVID-19, the largest number since the vaccine’s introduction began in December.

Vermont has the highest number of cases since the outbreak began: 84. New Hampshire, which was formerly a leader in early vaccination, is now second only to Michigan in terms of new cases per capita in the last two weeks. Last month, the Pentagon dispatched medical teams to two large hospitals in Minnesota, which ranks third in the country for new cases per population, to relieve doctors and nurses overburdened by COVID-19 patients. The number of COVID-19 patients at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where one of the military medical teams was dispatched, has risen since September. However, according to spokesperson Christine Hill, it is still well below pandemic levels.

Dr. Pauline Park, a critical care physician at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, described the current spike as “heartbreaking.” A woman in her twenties, a COVID-19 patient, died the week before Thanksgiving. Another woman, a mother of young children, is on a machine that replaces her lungs. Arizona, where pupils have been placed in isolation in dozens of schools, reported over 3,100 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, similar to the terrible summer of 2020. Hospital bed availability has reached epidemic lows.

 

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