Coronavirus infections in children grow steadily: experts warn that this is just the beginning
According to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, cases of COVID-19 among children in the United States have been on the rise since early July. And the expert says that this growth is only the beginning of what will happen next. Writes about it CNN.
“This happens before the start of school. Schools will open soon, ”said Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine. “So the Houston Independent School District opens on August 23rd, which is going to be a huge booster. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. "
More than 121 cases of COVID-000 in children were reported in the United States last week. This is more than 19 times the number of child cases reported in the week ending June 14.
While this coincides with the rise in incidence among all ages in the United States since the beginning of summer, the proportion of cases among children is on the rise. Children accounted for 18% of the total US cases last week, up from 14,4% for the entire pandemic.
Health experts hoped to get the critical threshold of the population vaccinated against COVID-19 in time to bring the disease under control by the new school year, but only 50,9% of the population is fully vaccinated and the number of cases is rising again.
Experts believe that with the more transmitted variant of Delta now accounting for almost 99% of cases in the US, the situation is becoming especially dangerous for children.
They advocated for children to wear masks at school, but some governors have tried to ban such requirements.
“Why tie the hands of health officials? We have two weapons, one is vaccines, the other is masks, and for children under 12, this is the only weapon they have, ”said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA's Vaccine Advisory Committee. and the United States Drug Administration (FDA).
Hotez said the US is now at "screaming levels of virus transmission," adding that in order to truly stop the spread of the virus, 80 to 85% of the population will need to be vaccinated.
“We know from past epidemics that this means the best way to stop the spread is to get vaccinated and keep wearing masks,” Hotez said. "The only way to defeat this virus is to use both methods."
Thousands of schoolchildren are already in quarantine
Many schools that have started training are already seeing the effects of the spread of the virus.
Over the past week, more than 3000 students and staff have been quarantined in the New Orleans school district due to COVID-19, according to the latest county figures.
They make up 5,89% of the district's students and teachers.
Students returned to the New Orleans School District on August 12 and are required to wear masks on school premises.
Mask mandates have sparked tensions in Florida as some schools push for them and oppose Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban against such demands.
Among the 15 largest school districts in the state, at least 3143 students and 1371 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 11 more students and staff have been quarantined or isolated due to COVID-416.
Cases from Florida's two largest school districts, Miami-Dade and Broward, are not included in the count, as classes have not yet begun.
Florida's Board of Education voted unanimously to recommend an investigation in the Broward and Alachua districts over their requirement to wear masks at school.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducy said the state will use federal COVID-19 relief funds to increase funding available to school districts only if they are open to personal teaching and do not require children to wear masks.
Several counties in Arizona have introduced mask mandates, despite state law that bans them, arguing that the ban could not go into effect until mid-September, making their current mandates legal.
It will only get worse
As cases spread, so does the overcrowding in hospitals.
According to the Florida Hospital Association, the state has admitted 16 people with COVID-521, which is 19% of all patients in Florida hospitals.
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“There can be little doubt that many Florida hospitals are working to their limits,” said Mary Mayhew, president and CEO of the association.
Three-quarters of Florida hospitals will soon experience critical staff shortages in the next seven days, she said.
In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Besheer said by the end of the week "there will be more Kentucky residents in the hospital than ever in this pandemic."
He added: "The situation is serious and alarming, and we are rapidly approaching critical."
In states south of Kentucky, beds are quickly running out and they are calling state hospitals to request transfers of patients receiving intensive care unit care, said Kentucky Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Stephen Stack.
"It will get worse," Stack said.
Experts believe additional vaccinations will not stop the pandemic
Health experts are discussing the possibility of administering additional doses to increase protection, although there is no consensus on when this will be necessary.
The administration of US President Joe Biden is expected to discuss data showing that additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine may be required for the general population about eight months after full vaccination.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the need and timing has yet to be determined. The FDA said the agency will consider when third doses may be required.
"This process takes into account laboratory data, clinical trial data and data from specific pharmaceutical companies, but does not rely solely on this data," said spokeswoman Abigail Capobianco. "We continue to analyze any new data as it becomes available and will keep the public informed."
Scott Hensley, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania, told CNN that he is skeptical of the importance of additional doses at this stage of the pandemic.
“If you think that the third dose of the vaccine will end the pandemic, then you are fooling yourself,” he said. "To end this pandemic, the vaccine needs to be distributed around the world."
Andy Slavitt, a former White House adviser on COVID-19, said it would make a huge difference if much of the world is vaccinated in the first half of 2022.
“To stop the spread of this virus, we must vaccinate not only the unvaccinated in the US, but also the unvaccinated around the world,” he said.
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