Florida soon became the center of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States as the country fought a new surge in COVID-19 cases caused by highly contagious delta mutants and continued vaccine hesitation. ..
This week, the state broke the hospital’s COVID-19 patient count record. Hospitalizations increased tenfold across the state in just over a month, hospitals across the state faced overwhelming demand again, and the COVID-19 ward became full after it was nearly empty in June. rice field.
Alix Zacharski, a nurse manager in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, told Yahoo News that she and her team have been caring for COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began last year. Said that the patient list had decreased. It has increased significantly in the last two months, giving staff a very necessary break. It soon changed again. Last week, her 8-bed ICU had to be expanded to accommodate a new surge in COVID-19 patients fueled by a hyperinfectious delta mutant.
“As of Friday, July 30th, we changed from 8 beds to 24 beds, which quickly tripled,” Zacharski said. “You wouldn’t be surprised if you had to expand further in the next two weeks.”
The 7-day average for new cases in Florida was 17,756 as of August 3, 700% above the 7-day average of 2,195 on July 3. People who are hospitalized as of Wednesday, according to data reported by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
After being hospitalized for the past three days, Florida broke a total of 10,170 hospitalization records last July. This was the worst month of COVID hospitalization in the state since the pandemic began.
The Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Zacharski works, is Florida’s largest public hospital. As of Thursday, the Jackson Health System had 305 COVID-19-positive inpatients. This is still less than the 485 patients on July 27, 2020, at the peak of the pandemic, but there was still a significant increase and hospitals were once again limiting visitors.other hospital South Florida is beginning to feel the impact of this surge and is currently taking additional steps, such as temporarily suspending selective surgery.
“Unfortunately, there is no surplus of multiple beds, multiple interventions, and multiple devices that can treat everyone at the same time. Therefore, this is a big impact we impose and a big imposition we impose on other parts. It’s a burden. Healthcare system, “says Zacharski.
Like other hospitals across the country, Zacharski says this COVID-19 surge is different in that patients are younger.
“I had to say goodbye to the young people. Last Friday we lost 27 and 54 years old side by side, but they were very ill,” she said. .. The majority of these patients have not been vaccinated, she added.
According to Jackson, 90 percent of their COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated. The hospital system also accepted vaccinated patients, but of the 28 vaccinated patients, 21 were immunocompromised transplants and were unlikely to generate a strong immune response, so Corona Often does not respond to virus vaccines.
In Miami-Dade County, about 61 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. This is above the state average of 48.8%, which is almost 50% of the national average, but experts say it can provide herd immunity to protect people who cannot be vaccinated due to their underlying health condition. It is below the 70% that we initially believed. However, experts are currently investigating because delta variants are more contagious. Herd immunity threshold It will be higher, 70 percent of which may not be enough to prevent the spread of the virus.
Infectious disease experts also state that these outbreaks can occur in areas with high vaccination rates, such as Miami-Dade. They say that large immunity gaps can be opened and vaccination rates are lower among younger people who are more likely to gather and socialize in larger groups.
Another factor, experts say, is the mitigation of key mitigations designed to control the spread of the virus, in addition to the more contagious variants. Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis resisted compulsory mask obligations and vaccine requirements. Last Friday, he banned the school district from requiring students to wear masks when class resumes next month.
Public health officials and elected local leaders pressured the DeSantis administration to take more drastic steps to control the virus, but instead limited its ability to impose these necessary mitigations. Said. At a press conference on Tuesday, he doubled while the state broke yet another hospitalization record, and the current COVID-19 surge soon subsided, imposing no business restrictions or mask obligations. Insisted.
“We haven’t shut down,” DeSantis said. “We are going to open a school. We are protecting all Floridian jobs in this state. We are protecting people’s small businesses. These interventions are not only in the United States but abroad. But I’ve failed many times throughout this pandemic. They haven’t stopped spreading, especially in the Delta. “
Dr. Bernard Ashby, a cardiologist in Miami and leader of the Florida Healthcare Conservation Commission, told Yahoo News that DeSantis’ decision to ban mask mandates at school was a public health issue in this situation. Political issues.
“I need to receive his message and understand that our lives are more important than politics. People around politics,” Ashby said. “There is a great deal of data showing that masks reduce SARS-COV2 infections, but he bans municipalities from making that decision. This is not only for student health, but also for teachers and the community. It’s also reckless and actually harmful to other people, because these students could serve as a vector to further spread this delta. Variants. “
For Zacharski, treatment of patients with COVID-19 continues to be “physically and mentally exhausted.” She says she and her staff are particularly challenging these days as they are still tired of the previous surge.
She described the variant of the virus as “very aggressive,” adding that many patients were already very ill and arrived in the hospital and needed intensive care almost immediately. “They don’t seem to be breathtaking …. they need more oxygenation,” Zacharski said, saying that such patients often need to be intubated. ..
Witnessing this is intriguing to hospital staff, given that the vaccine has been shown to be safe, effective and protect against serious illness and hospitalization, she says.
“Please give me a vaccination. If you haven’t been vaccinated, consider it seriously,” she said. “Help us help you …. don’t let us be your nurse at this time.”
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