Omicron is Overwhelming Hospitals according to Data from other Countries
At the moment, the number of hospitalized patients in Bulgaria is not growing sharply - despite the explosive rise of cases infected with the new variant of COVID-19 Omicron.
There is worldwide support for the fact that Omicron is a milder variant - although this is a statistical rather than an individual rule, as victims and people with severe disabilities are still suffering. However, it also confirms the fact that it is much more contagious than the previous dominant variant - Delta.
However, mathematicians and epidemiologists warn that the data are not currently indicative of the development of the pandemic in the next few weeks. And they point to the results of Omicron's neglect in other countries where the new variant came in earlier.
In the United States - a record number of hospitalizations, a sharp increase in children
On January 16, the United States set a record for hospitalizations - 142 thousand people in one day, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most of them are unvaccinated, but there are people with a booster among them.
And if the big cities have the volume of beds and doctors to withstand the stress for a while, then in the smaller towns the overcapacity is huge.
Many of those hospitalized have milder symptoms than previous waves, and fewer need resuscitation or intubation. But this does not mean that they do not need hospital care and do not occupy a bed and the attention of overworked doctors.
In the United States, there has also been a sharp increase in hospitalized children - in previous waves, young children were generally the least affected by the virus. At the end of last year, the number of hospitalized children under the age of 5 went from 2.5 per 100,000 to 4.3 per 100,000. These are also those children who do not yet have access to the vaccine, as they are only approved for children over the age of 5.
And between the holidays and the beginning of January, the growth of hospitalized children generally jumps by 200%.
According to the US Health and Human Services, more than 80% of the country's beds are occupied. In some states, however, the figure is rapidly approaching 90%.
Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom - vaccinated are 5 times more protected from hospitalization
In the countries of Europe that were the first to be hit by Omicron, there is an increase in the number of infected and hospitalized people. It generally affects the unvaccinated again - although they are few, they are still enough to burden the health systems.
More than 1.4 million new infections have been registered in Spain since the beginning of the year. The good news is that 80.7% of locals have already been vaccinated.
However, the lighter Omicron can be deadly to the unvaccinated. An analysis in Catalonia between December 23 and January 12 per 100,000 people shows that the death rate among people between the ages of 70 and 80 is 5 times higher among the unvaccinated. And it is the same in those between 70-79, and in 60-69-year-olds is about 3 times.
The same data confirm that the vaccine protects against hospitalization - in people without vaccine between 70-79 years, the chance of entering the hospital is 6 times less, and the chance of being in the intensive care unit - up to 10 times less.
The numbers are similar in Italy and Switzerland - the oldest infected are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized if they are not vaccinated.
Data from the UK from January 3 confirm the protection of vaccines for all age groups - people with at least two doses are 3 times less likely to go to the hospital. 71% of those vaccinated show results, and although hospitalizations have jumped sharply, they are far from the record seen in February last year, when more than 21,000 people were admitted to hospital on the island in one day.
Against the background of these data, it is not a mystery what we can expect in Bulgaria - a country with 28% vaccinated, the least in the EU.
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