COVID cases are on the decline, but the United States threatens 700,000 deaths

Texas News Today

Minneapolis – The decline in COVID-19 cases across the United States over the past few weeks has provided some relief to overcrowded hospitals, but managers say there is another possibility as cold weather moves people indoors. We are preparing for a sudden increase in the number of people.

According to health experts, the fourth wave of the pandemic was peaking across the United States, particularly in the Deep South, where hospitals reached their limits a few weeks ago. However, many northern states are still suffering from an increase in incidence, and the future of winter is far less clear.

It’s not clear how flu season might affect hospital workers who have already been furloughed, and whether those refusing vaccinations will change their minds.

An estimated 70 million eligible Americans have not been vaccinated and are igniting the highly contagious delta forms.

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Mike Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research Policy, warns:

Nationally, the number of people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 has dropped from more than 93,000 in early September to nearly 75,000. The average number of new cases is declining by about 112,000 per day, about a third in the past two and a half weeks.

Deaths also seem to be declining, with the United States closing in on Friday with the sad milestone of 700,000 total deaths since the pandemic began, with an average of about 1,900 people per day. A week ago there were over 2,000 people.

The mitigation of the increase in summer is due to wearing more masks and vaccinating more people. The reduction in the number of cases could also be due to the burning of virus-sensitive people and in some places the fuel ran out.

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In another promising development, Merck reported on Friday that experimental pills for people with COVID-19 slashed hospitalizations and deaths in half. If it wins regulatory approval, it will be the first pill to treat COVID-19 and a vital and easy-to-use new weapon to tackle the pandemic.

All treatments currently approved for the coronavirus in the United States require an IV or injection.

The government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned Friday that promising trends could be seen as reasons for not being vaccinated.

“The good news is that the curves are starting to appear,” he said. “Getting vaccinated is no excuse to shy away from the problem.”

At Our Lady of Lakes Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, COVID-19 hospitalizations began in mid-July and exceeded capacity by the first week of August. It outlawed elective surgery and brought in military doctors and nurses to help with patient care.

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Currently, the number of incidents is decreasing and the troops are due to leave at the end of October.

Still, Dr Catherine O’Neill, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said the hospitalization rate was just as fast in the community, as delta variants affect more young people who are otherwise healthier and live longer. The Ventilator Intensive Care Unit said it has not decreased.

“This produces many ICU patients who go nowhere,” she said. And many patients never went home. Over the past few weeks, hospitals have seen more than five COVID-19 deaths daily for several days, including a day when 10 people died.

“We lost another father in his 40s just a few days ago,” O’Neill said. “It keeps happening, and this is the COVID tragedy.”

As for where the outbreak goes from here, she said, “my crystal ball has broken several times over the past two years.” But she said the flu season would also extend and hospitals would have to be prepared for another surge in late November.

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The director of hospital quality systems at Oxner Health, Louisiana, Dr. Sandra Camry said the fourth pandemic surge would be even more difficult. “It’s just frustrating for people to die from vaccine-preventable diseases,” she said.

At the peak of this latest wave, Oxner Hospital had 1,074 COVID-19 patients as of 9 August. By Thursday, it had fallen to 208.

Other hospitals are also declining. At the University of Mississippi Medical Center, 146 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized during peak hours in mid-August. On Friday, it came down to 39. Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, South Carolina, had more than 190 at the beginning of September, but only 49 on Friday.

However, the Camry doesn’t expect the decline to continue. “I am fully looking forward to more COVID hospitalizations,” she said.

Like many other medical professionals, Natalie Dean, professor of biostatistics at Emory University, takes a cautious approach to winter.

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It is unclear whether the coronavirus follows the seasonal pattern of influenza, and there is a projected peak in winter when people gather indoors for the holidays. Because of the size and diversity of the country, there will be places where outbreaks will increase further, he said.

In addition, the uncertainty of human behavior complicates the situation. People react to exposure by taking precautions and delaying the transmission of the virus. Then, feeling safe, people mix more freely, creating a new wave of transmission.

“The infectious disease model is different from the meteorological model,” Dean said. “The storm doesn’t change course because of what the model said.”

One of the influential models from the University of Washington predicts that new cases will restart this fall, but with vaccine protection and infection-induced immunity, the virus will kill as many as last winter. You won’t be able to.

Still, the model predicts that another 90,000 Americans will die by January 1, bringing the total death toll by that date to 788,000. The model estimates that if nearly everyone wore a mask in public, about half of these deaths could be avoided.

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“Wearing masks is already in the wrong direction,” said Ali Mokudad, a professor of health metrics science at the university. “Our hospital is over, so we need to make sure we’re ready for winter.”

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Johnson reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Zeke Miller told Washington, DC. contributed from

Copyright 2021 AP Communications. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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