COVID Hospitalizations Increasing as EG.5 Spreads

COVID hospitalizations are increasing in the United States again.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that over the past four weeks, more patients have been admitted to hospitals with severe cases of COVID.

In the week ending Aug. 5, the United States had more than 10,000 newly hospitalized patients—a 14 percent increase. However, the hospitalizations remain much lower than last summer’s peak of more than 42,000 in a week.

The Southeastern region that includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee had nearly 4.6 new patients hospitalized with COVID-19 per 100,000 residents. Overall, the country saw just over 3 new patients per 100,000 residents.

According to the CDC, cases continue to rise at nursing homes across the U.S. Data shows severe COVID cases seem to be impacting seniors ages 75 and up the most. But according to nationwide emergency room data, children up to the age of 11 have also frequently visited the ER.

In the region that includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, children’s visits to the ER are exceeding that of adults, at least for those ages 0 to 11, CBS News reported. The variant EG.5 is now the dominant variant in the country, comprising of  17.3% of U.S. infections.

Fall’s expected booster shots will target the XBB variant, but will also likely provide some protection against EG.5, which is a descendant of the XBB variant.Still, the World Health Organization has warned that EG.5 could soon outcompete other XBB variants.

“EG.5 may cause a rise in case incidence and become dominant in some countries or even globally,” the WHO said in a recent report on the variant.

Statista reports that as of June 14, 2023, around 66 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been among non-Hispanic whites, despite the fact that non-Hispanic whites account for 60 percent of the total U.S. population. More than 12 percent of the deaths related to COIVD have been Black individuals.

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