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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 13, 2024  1 month, 1 week, 4 days, 21 hours, 32 minutes ago

COVID-19 News - United States: Hospitalizations For COVID-19 And Other Respiratory Infections Continue To Rise For The 9th Consecutive Week!

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COVID-19 News - United States: Hospitalizations For COVID-19 And Other Respiratory Infections Continue To Rise For The 9th Consecutive Week!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 13, 2024  1 month, 1 week, 4 days, 21 hours, 32 minutes ago
COVID-19 News - United States: As the United States proceeds into mid-January of 2024, it finds itself grappling with a prolonged surge in respiratory illnesses, witnessing the ninth consecutive week of rising hospitalizations for COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. This COVID-19 News - United States report delves into the intricacies of the latest data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), providing an extensive examination of the evolving landscape of COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) across the nation.


COVID-19 Hospitalizations Continue To Rise Across America

Respiratory Virus Activity Overview
According to the U.S. CDC's most recent data, respiratory virus activity remains persistently high, with 35 states, New York City, and the District of Columbia reporting "high" or "very high" levels.
https://www.cdc.gov/respiratory-viruses/data-research/dashboard/activity-levels.html
 
While this represents a slight decrease from the 38 states reported earlier, it suggests a potential peak in some viral activity.
 
Emergency department visits for diagnosed cases of influenza, COVID-19, and RSV remain elevated, with a recent slight decrease possibly influenced by holiday-related healthcare-seeking behavior.
 
COVID-19 Hospitalizations
The week ending January 6 witnessed a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, reaching 35,801 - a concerning trend marking the ninth consecutive week of increases.
https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_weeklyhospitaladmissions_select_00
 
However, this figure remains lower than the hospitalization rate recorded at the same time last year. Nearly 40% of U.S. counties are in the medium category for hospital admission levels, indicating 10.0 to 19.9 new admissions per 100,000 people in the past week.
https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#maps_new-admissions-rate-county

Among age groups, those aged 65 and older exhibit the highest rate of weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations.
https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#maps_new-admissions-rate-county
 
JN.1 Variant and Wastewater Activity
Contributing to the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations is the prevalence of the JN.1 variant, accounting for approximately 61.6% of cases in the U.S.
https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vari ant-proportions
 
This variant carries mutations that may enhance transmissibility or immune system evasion.
 
Nationally, COVID-19 wastewater viral activity levels remain very high - an early indicator of a potential increase in cases.
https://www.cdc.gov/nwss/rv/COVID19-nationaltrend.html
 
Encouragingly, there are indications that wastewater activity levels may be slowing in the Midwest and Northeast.
 
Influenza and RSV
Influenza activity remains elevated, with key indicators on an upward trajectory. Despite this, weekly new hospital admissions for influenza slightly decreased to 18,506 for the week ending January 6.
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluviewinteractive.htm
 
The U.S.CDC anticipates monitoring for a potential second period of increased influenza activity post-winter holidays. The CDC estimates 14 million flu illnesses, 150,000 hospitalizations, and 9,400 deaths this season, with adults over 65 facing the highest flu hospitalization rates.
 
RSV hospitalizations appear stable, with a marginal increase in the weekly hospitalization rate. Unlike COVID-19 and influenza, RSV hospitalizations peak among children aged 4 and younger, followed by adults aged 65 and older.
https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/research/rsv-net/dashboard.html
 
Vaccine Coverage
Despite the availability of vaccines for COVID-19, influenza, and RSV, vaccine coverage remains suboptimal. Only 21.4% of adults aged 18 and older have received the updated COVID-19 vaccine, while flu vaccine coverage stands at 46.8% for adults. The RSV vaccine, introduced for the first time this season, has been received by just 20.1% of adults aged 60 and older.
 
Current Respiratory Illness Trends
As of January 12, the CDC reports elevated respiratory illness activity across most of the U.S., with 37 states experiencing high or very high levels. COVID-19 wastewater viral activity remains persistently high, indicating a continuation of the respiratory virus surge. General respiratory illness symptoms, including fever plus cough or sore throat, show an upward trajectory, mirroring the heightened viral activity.
https://www.cdc.gov/respiratory-viruses/data-research/dashboard/vaccination-trends-adults.html
 
Impact on Hospitalizations And ERs
While hospital bed occupancy remains stable nationally, public health officials closely monitor hospital admissions. The risk of overwhelming hospitals appears lower than during the crisis levels of 2020 and 2021, but some facilities report significant increases. Vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and young children, are most affected, with emergency department visits highest among children under 2 and adults over 65.
https://www.cdc.gov/respiratory-viruses/data-research/dashboard/most-impacted-emergency-department-visits.html
 
Disparities and Social Factors
Respiratory sickness disproportionately affects nonwhite populations, with higher flu hospitalization rates among non-Hispanic Black Americans. Deaths from major respiratory illnesses are highest among American Indian/Alaska Natives and Asians/Pacific Islanders. Social factors, including limited access to primary care, higher smoking rates, and lower vaccination rates, contribute to these disparities.
 
Conclusion
As the United States navigates the persistent surge in respiratory illnesses, a multi-faceted approach is imperative. Effective vaccination campaigns, enhanced healthcare access, and stringent public health measures are crucial to mitigating the impact on vulnerable populations. Continued monitoring and adaptability in response strategies will be essential to navigate the evolving landscape of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV in the coming weeks and months. Public awareness and proactive measures will play a pivotal role in collectively overcoming the challenges posed by these respiratory infections.
 
For the latest COVID-19 News - United States, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.

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