Rapidly spreading omicron variant increases childhood hospital admissions in parts of the US

With the rapidly spreading Omicron variant driving now Public health officials are warning that like South Africa did in early December, the country is seeing an increase in the number of childhood hospital admissions linked to the disease.

The New York Department of Health reported on Thursday that the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations in children under the age of 18 began to quadruple the week of December 5 through the current week.

No children between the ages of 5 and 11 were hospitalized with Covid-19 during that time, the ministry said, and only a third of children over 11 had been immunized.

With children under the age of 5 ineligible for vaccinations, officials warned New York families that the best protection for young children “is to make sure everyone around them is adequately protected.” through vaccinations, boosters, proper mask wearing, crowd avoidance, and testing.”

Together with New York, Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania have hit strongly by admission to a pediatric hospital. Nationwide, about 800 new hospital admissions were recorded every day for the past three days.

Nearly 2,000 pediatric patients with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 were hospitalized nationwide – a 31% increase in 10 days, based on Washington Posts.

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Data from the UK also shows that as of December 19, the hospital admission rate stood at 3.64 per 100,000 for children under 4 – three times the rate for children aged 5 to 14. , who are eligible for vaccination.

The following data report from South Africa earlier this month, showed that in Gauteng province as of the first week of December, patients under the age of 5 were the second largest group to be hospitalized, after patients over 60 years of age.

As Post report on Wednesday, the wave of infections from South Africa’s variant of Omicron appeared to be waning, offering some hope to public health professionals elsewhere.

As for children in the United States, “the vast majority of cases to date are mild and look like the common cold,” report newspaper.

In the Allentown-Bethlehem area of ​​eastern Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley Health Network chair of pediatrics, Dr. Post that “the number of children hospitalized is twice as high as the previous peak last winter and the peak of the pandemic, but they still represent a small fraction of those infected.”

Scientists at the University of Texas rescue A report this week predicts that Omicron cases in the US will likely peak in late January to early February, with daily cases slowing in March.

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Caroline Bleakley

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