The most feared seems to become a real threat, at least according to the data made public by several pediatric specialists and by several children’s hospitals in the United States.
“After many months with none or very few cases of Covid-19 in children, we are finding babies, children and adolescents affected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have to enter the hospital. And they are more and more every day ”.
It is a message written by Dr. Heather, a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, who also pointed out that the current problem affects patients between the ages of 2 weeks and 17 years.
The reality is that new coronavirus infections have risen 148 percent in the United States in the past two weeks alone, and hospitalizations have increased 73 percent, according to data released by the NYT.
An increase in coronavirus infections that has been largely attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant and low vaccination rates in some states.
And the present concern moves on alert for the near future. Because, as the specialist insists, “I am concerned that when children return to school with the Delta variant circulating, we will find large school outbreaks that we did not see in previous waves, and that may disproportionately affect children.”
The reason is that, as the doctor insists: “I have cared for pediatric patients hospitalized with Covid throughout the pandemic, but this time hospital admissions figures can skyrocket due to the number of unvaccinated children who are susceptible to being infected with the Delta variant ”.
A respiratory virus to worsen the Covid situation
Specialists insist that they are at the front end of a huge Covid-19 wave, but there is something that adds up and worries them even more:
«We have found ourselves out of time with the fact that at the moment we have, as if it were winter, a high volume of babies and young children with acute respiratory diseases with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and between one thing and another I worry that we we are left without beds and staff to handle the increase of the two problems at the same time.
RSV cases in the United States have been gradually increasing since the beginning of June, but have skyrocketed in July, according to data from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
The disease, which can cause symptoms including runny nose, cough, sneezing and fever, and is quite common… but in the fall. And that’s why this peak of a highly contagious, seasonal flu-like illness is completely rare.
So much so that, as reported by CNN, in Louisiana cases increased by 244% in the last two weeks, which has caused the Nuestra Señora del Lago Children’s Hospital, in Baton Rouge, is reaching the limit of its capacity.
This is how Dr. Trey Dunbar, president of the hospital, explained to the television network: “It begins with the pandemic during the last 18 months and then with the RSV during the last months,” he told the network. “It seems to be one thing after another that keeps our teams very busy.”
And in New York a specialist commented yesterday: “The increase in cases of Covid-19 and the respiratory syncytial virus are depleting pediatric resources in some parts”
Sudden increases in RSV infections have also been reported in places like New Zealand. And although it is winter there today, experts fear that children may be more vulnerable than usual to seasonal viruses and infections this year.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.