WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) — New hospitalizations for Americans with severe COVID-19 are climbing once again.
The number of patients being admitted to hospitals has grown for each of the past four weeks, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show. Southeastern states have been hit the hardest. In the week ending Aug. 5, the United States had 10,320 newly hospitalized patients. That is a 14.3 percent increase, but it is still much lower than last summer’s peak of more than 42,800 in a week.
The Southeastern region that includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee had nearly 4.6 new patients hospitalized with COVID-19 per 100,000 residents. Overall, the country saw just over three new patients per 100,000 residents.
Cases occurring at nursing homes were also high. Severe COVID-19 recently seems to have been striking seniors ages 75 years and older most often. But according to nationwide emergency department data, children up to the age of 11 years have also been frequently seen in the emergency department and have now tied with seniors.
In the region that includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, children’s visits to the emergency department are exceeding those of adults, at least for those ages 0 to 11 years, CBS News reported.
The variant EG.5 is now the dominant variant in the country, comprising 17.3 percent of U.S. infections. Fall’s expected booster shots will target the XBB variant but will also likely provide some protection against EG.5, which is a descendant of the XBB variant.
Still, the World Health Organization has warned that EG.5 could soon outcompete other XBB variants. “EG.5 may cause a rise in case incidence and become dominant in some countries or even globally,” the WHO said in a recent report on the variant.
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