The number of children admitted to hospitals due to COVID-19 throughout the U.S. has hit a new high with over 1900 cases, throwing the healthcare services into a tizzy with the highly contagious Delta variant being attributed as the reason.
Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reveals that with 1902 hospitalizations, it also accounts for 2.4% of all coronavirus-related ailments.
Children are significantly prone because most of them are still unvaccinated. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and FDA (Food & Drug Administration) haven’t given the go-ahead for vaccines to be administered to children below 12 years of age, leaving them exposed to a highly transmissible variant.
Sally Goza, former president of the American Academy of Paediatrics, has said that this situation is not akin to the previous year’s COVID-19.
This is, in some ways, even worse in that it is more contagious and deadly and that it is likely to affect a significant population of children, majorly because they have not had the opportunity to get vaccinated to acclimatize to this outbreak.
Effect On Children
Even though the effect on children remains obscure, it was initially surmised that children wouldn’t be as adversely impacted as adults.
It may be because they frequently keep catching colds, and their bodies might be primed to provide immunity against the present COVID-19, essentially a form of pneumonia.
This is not to allay the fears of its lethality, as children may sometimes need medical intervention.
A study in Mayo Clinic suggests that children under the age of 1 are at heightened risk of contracting a terminal illness due to rudimentary immune systems and smaller airways that can constrict breathing in respiratory viral infections.
This may escalate to the situation involving placing them on ventilators and life-support systems equipped with oxygen cylinders.
Children and the number of hospitalizations in the age brackets of 18-50 years old have also incremented substantially in the past week or so.
This comes after the U.S. opened up several schools, institutions, workplaces after varying periods of lockdowns and restrictions in the pandemic’s peak last year.
Approximately 50% of people have been fully vaccinated, and 59.4% have received one dose.
A fifth of the new cases is being reported from the southern state of Florida, which also ignites the debates in other conservative states of whether to send schoolchildren masked or not.
More than 90% of the ICU beds are also filled, according to the Department of Health & Human Services, some school districts in Florida, Texas and Arizona have ordered masks to be worn throughout the school in direct defiance of what the Republican governors of respective states had banned them from doing so.
The administrations of Florida and Texas have threatened to withhold funding and gone to the Supreme Court of the U.S. to plead against the directive, respectively.
President Joe Biden has lauded them for doing the “right thing” to avert any chances of mishaps.
The most prominent teachers’ union in the U.S., National Education Association, has also actively supported the cause of vaccination and other forms of mitigation so that students can safely return to schools as soon as possible.
Presently, the U.S. reports an average of 129,000 cases daily, which has overwhelmed the healthcare sector.
In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown has stated that she’s tasking 500 National Guard members to help the overburdened hospitals, with an estimated 1500 members available to give support.
The raging pandemic doesn’t seem to be ending soon anywhere, given that the cases are continually rising and the virus is also getting elusive.