Omigron sends more babies to hospitals in the United States

Experts warn about the importance of vaccinating children, and pointing the finger at pediatric hospital admissions in the first place for the highest incidence of this variant.

Experts warn about the importance of vaccinating children, and pointing the finger at pediatric hospital admissions in the first place for the highest incidence of this variant.

Discovery: Increased record of hospital admissions

In one week, at the end of December, 378 new hospitals were registered in the country with an average of 18 people under the age of 18, an increase of 66% over the previous week, according to figures from the Center for Prevention and Disease Control (CDC). )

During the tidal wave connected to the delta, this was a record surpassing the previous peak seen in September. Only those aged 18-29 who were admitted to the hospital reached the new record.

However, the rate of severe cases among minors is much lower than among other ages.

In terms of the number of cases, about 200,000 children were diagnosed with Govt-19 in the week ending December 23, a 50% increase from the number of weekly cases reported earlier this month, according to the U.S. Academy of Pediatrics. .

“We are seeing a record number of children affected by Govt-19 during this wave of Omigran,” confirmed AFP Jim Versalov of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, the nation’s largest. About 50 children are currently hospitalized, and that number has quadrupled since last week, he said.

In New York, too, health officials said this week that they should monitor “an upward trend in pediatric hospital admissions.”

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Causes: More cases and fewer vaccinated children

The explanation is, at least, mechanically linked to the general outbreak of the disease in the country.

“More and more children are affected by this highly contagious virus, and with it, more and more children will be hospitalized naturally,” he told a news conference on Wednesday.

He said it was important to differentiate between hospitalized children from “cause” of Govt-19 and “with Govt-19”. Fauzi warned. In other words, especially in winter, some people may go to the hospital due to other viruses in circulation and may be diagnosed positive for Govt-19.

Another important factor is that the vaccination rate is very low among adolescents. By the end of December, less than 15% of 5-11 year olds and more than 50% of 12-17 year olds were fully vaccinated.

However, vaccines can be very effective in protecting against severe cases of the disease.

“The adolescents admitted to our hospital are almost exclusively unvaccinated,” said Jim Versalovic. This applies to children between the ages of 5 and 11, who have been eligible since the beginning of November, i.e. only two months. Children under the age of 5 are currently ineligible.

Is Omigran more intense in children than Delta?

Like the Delta variant wave, the increase in the number of children hospitalized has raised fears that the mutation of the virus has made them more capable of triggering more severe cases of the disease than previous variants.

But “from what we can see today, Omigran did not cause the most serious infections,” said Jim Versalovic, adding: “It looks like we’re dealing with a large number of moderate cases.”

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This is currently the dominant hypothesis for adults as well, but it will need to go back even further to confirm it.

“The final outcome of severity in children (omigran) is yet to be determined,” said Anthony Fassi.

In addition, “a small percentage of children develop a serious illness, but a small percentage present a large number,” pediatrician Henry Bernstein told AFP. He further added that this was a “real concern”.

Moderate cases of the disease can lead to chronic goiter, the effects of which are not yet clear or lead to severe cases of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease syndrome (MIS-C), which do not appear until a few weeks after onset. Infection.

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