In February 2021, Dr. Craig Spencer wrote in a medium Post That he “is as eager as anyone to see the end of this epidemic. Thankfully, that could be in sight.”
“Covid cases and hospital admissions are declining,” wrote Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian / Columbia University Medical Center. “Vaccines are coming to the fore. So, what happens now? “
The next, of course, was the extra Covid-19.
So – almost a year later – although Spencer is excited by the fact that growth in the number of new covid cases has slowed in some parts of the country, he has been humbled by the earlier waves and is not ready to celebrate the beginning of the end. Of the epidemic.
“It’s not like you get to the top of Mt. Everest, have a little party and then start your ascent and take off your oxygen mask,” Spencer said. “There’s still a risk when you start your lineage, and I think it’s important for all of us to be vigilant and vigilant.”
The United States, meanwhile, has broken the record for most hospital admissions and cases of highly contagious in recent months. Omicron version, The Northeast has seen a decrease in the number of new covid cases on a daily basis or a slower rate of growth, which predicts that the worst epidemic will end soon.
But infectious disease experts say the outbreak is premature because of the unpredictability of the virus and the growing number of hospitals in some parts of the country.
“Yes, especially in places like New York City, Omicron is at the summit, but I think we have to be very careful not to confuse the summit with the low,” said Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at New York University. “This means that people who are going out still need to be careful to use milder measures, such as wearing high-quality masks and getting out as much as possible, in order to lead a normal life.”
In the Northeast, the number of new cases has been declining daily in recent weeks, according to the report Data Since New York Times, But other places continue to experience spikes in cases. For example, 10 states have seen a 300% increase in cases over the past two weeks.
Across the United States, there has been a 133% increase in cases and a 79% increase in hospital admissions during that period.
“I think it’s very likely that we could be at the peak, and of course at that time there will be a lot of modeling results similar to what was peaked at the end of mid-January, but we didn’t see anything. If you start to see it happen, I’ll be careful, “said Justin Lesler, a professor of epidemiology at the university. North Carolina.
Despite the slowdown in growth, when Spencer worked shifts in Columbia’s emergency room in New York earlier this week, “it was just as chaotic for me as it was for my colleagues around town,” he said.
Because of this, the emergency room was filled with more patients with covid than with the onset of the epidemic, with the exception of people coming in for heart attack, appendicitis, or other illnesses. , Spencer said.
There are also a significant number of providers who are unable to work because they have tested positive for covid.
“Emergency rooms are always adaptable, but the problem we are facing now is not only more patients and more cowardice but also fewer providers and less space to keep. [patients]Spencer said.
In Oklahoma, a 363% increase over the past two weeks has overwhelmed hospitals. Three hospital systems reported that they had no intensive care unit beds available, According to On KFOR-TV.
At OU Health in Oklahoma City, the spike in covid cases posed a challenge to providers treating patients with the virus but also to non-covid patients as the hospital needed to take additional measures to protect them from the virus, said Dr. Dale Bratzler of the hospital. Chief Covid Officer.
There are also 250 employees who are unable to work because of the virus, he said.
While Bratzler hopes the state could reach its Omicron peak next week, he worries that the decline could be slower than in other states because only 54% of the population is fully vaccinated, compared to 73% in New York.
“I’m very concerned that we will have a substantial increase in hospital admissions in the next few weeks. We are already spread out in our system, and people who have not been vaccinated are being hospitalized. I am very concerned about that,” Bratzler said.
Still, Aaron Wendelbo, an OU epidemiologist, said he was “a little excited about what’s happening in other states.”
But like other epidemiologists, Wendellbo said he is not prepared to announce that we will not see another increase like Omicron as the virus continues to mutate.
“I feel like I’m a slow learner,” he said, “because I didn’t predict such a big increase so soon, but Kovid is surprising us.”