Although everyone’s eyes are on the new, little-known variant of omicron, the delta form of the coronavirus has not caused serious damage in the United States, and will set a record in some states, especially in the Midwest and New England. Of patients were taken to the hospital.

“Omicron is the spark that is about to emerge. The Delta variant is the fire that occurred today,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where a record 334 people were hospitalized. Coronavirus disease As of mid-week.

The United States recorded the first known omicron infection on Wednesday. The person infected a fully vaccinated person. He returned to California from South Africa, where the variant was first discovered a week ago.

The second US case was confirmed in Minnesota on Thursday, involving a man who had been vaccinated in New York City. This indicates that the variant has begun to spread in the country.

However, there are many unknowns about omicron, including whether it is more contagious than previous versions, whether it makes people sick or easier to prevent vaccination or break through people’s immunity from COVID-19.

Currently, the super-infectious delta variant accounts for almost all cases in the United States, and it continues to cause pain as many hospitals are struggling to cope with the shortage of nurses and the backlog of patients who have delayed surgery in the early stages of the pandemic.

What is worrying is that omicron will impose more patients on hospitals, even those with more serious illnesses.

“For me, it’s really just, I can’t imagine,” said Natasha Bhuyan, a family doctor in Phoenix. “Will we see a surge in cases again, even more than what we see now? Even higher? How does this affect our health system? How does this affect our hospitals?”

Two years after the outbreak, COVID-19 has killed more than 780,000 Americans and approximately 900 people die every day.

Since the delta peak in August and September, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States has fallen by about half, but there are about 86,000 new infections every day, which is still worryingly high, especially during the holidays. On the occasion, people travel and gather with their families.

With the advent of cold weather, more and more people entered the room, and the hospital felt the pressure.

“The delta has not receded,” said Dr. Andre Carlier, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Nebraska reported on Tuesday that 555 people in hospitals were infected with COVID-19, the highest number since the vaccine was just launched in December last year.

Vermont recorded the highest total since the pandemic began: 84. New Hampshire, once a leader in early vaccination, is now second only to Michigan in the number of new cases per capita in the past two weeks.

In Minnesota, where the number of new cases per capita ranks third, the Pentagon dispatched medical teams to two major hospitals last month to relieve doctors and nurses overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Timothy Johnson, chairman of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Emergency Physicians, said: “I can make it very clear that this fourth wave will hit Minnesota more severely than any previous wave.”

He said that hospitals are struggling due to lack of nurses, fatigue and patients receiving treatment having to postpone early in the crisis. He said: “Now these chickens go home and roost a little bit.”

Spokesperson Christine Hill said that at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, a military medical team was sent there. Since September, the number of COVID-19 patients has doubled. But still below the high point of the pandemic.

“It has something to do with the upcoming holidays,” she said.

Dr. Pauline Parker, who cares for critically ill patients at the University of Michigan Health Center in Ann Arbor, called the recent surge “heartbreaking.” A COVID-19 patient, a woman in her 20s, died during Thanksgiving week. The other is a mother with young children sitting on a machine designed for her lungs.

Students in dozens of classrooms in Arizona were forced to quarantine, and more than 3,100 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Wednesday, similar to the catastrophic summer of 2020. Hospital bed space has dropped to the lowest point of the pandemic.

Bhuyan said that one of her patients with blood clots in the lungs was not hospitalized but was discharged. Other patients waited for hours in the emergency room.

“It’s difficult because we do feel like we are back in time, even if we have these vaccines, it is a great weapon for us,” she said.


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