Los Angeles – New study finds disturbing news regarding the Delta variant and those not vaccinated against. It comes as new COVID infections in the United States average more than 150,000 per day, a 21% increase in the past 14 days.
COVID patients are plaguing hospitals from coast to coast, causing a summer wave. The Delta variant – which is more contagious than the original “Alpha variant” which has spread globally – more than doubles the risk of hospitalization for those unvaccinated, according to a British study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Researchers studied more than 40,000 cases of COVID between March and May – when the Delta variant took off in Britain – to compare hospitalization rates. The results closely resembled preliminary data from a Scottish study which indicated that the Delta variant caused more hospitalizations.
“The results suggest that patients with the Delta variant had more than twice the risk of hospitalization compared to patients with the Alpha variant,” according to the British study. “Emergency care attendance combined with hospital admission was also higher for patients with the Delta variant, showing increased use of emergency care services as well as hospitalization of patients.”
Meanwhile, in emergency rooms like the one in Atlanta, ambulances are turned back.
In seven states, more than 90% of intensive care beds are full, according to federal data. Alabama has no more beds in its intensive care units, causing a rush on vaccinations.
Nationwide, deaths from COVID have increased 355% since early July. Louisiana hit a record 139 deaths in a single day on August 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In South Carolina, a funeral home director said he’s never seen so many deaths from COVID.
“It puts stress not only on us, but on the families we serve,” director Robert Borning told CBS Affiliate Florence, South Carolina. WBTW-TV.
But there are stories of survival. One of Colorado’s first COVID patients, Jacob Larson, returned to serenade the medics who rescued him.
“The biggest ‘thank you’ anyone can give their health care provider is to go get their COVID shot,” said doctor and hospitalist Dr Aiman Rauf, who treated Larson.
Larson, who spent 20 days in the hospital, received his vaccine.
Meanwhile, nearly 60% of eligible people in Los Angeles County have been vaccinated so far – still below the 70% experts believe are necessary for herd immunity.