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Cleveland Hospital leader talks about winter COVID surge, potential children’s vaccine | Health

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Dr. Robert Willy, Head of Health Care at the Cleveland Clinic, said hospitals in northeastern Ohio are preparing for a future surge in COVID-19 cases, as the waves brought about by the Delta variant appear to have subsided. Said that.

At the peak of the recent surge, the state averaged about 7,200 COVID-19 cases per day. Currently, there are an average of about 3,500 people, Wily said.

“Hospitalization has dropped from over 3,700 to this morning. It has dropped to 2,500 this morning, so it has dropped by more than 34 percent,” he said. “There are still 426 patients in Kaiyahoga and surrounding counties, but there are still challenges.”

Willy joined doctors at the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital on Thursday for a joint press conference on COVID-19 trends and vaccines.

It’s hard to predict if there will be a future surge this winter, but Wily said he wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

“At this point, over 50% of Ohio people are vaccinated, so there are still many people who can get infected,” Wily said.

Dr. Claudia Hoyen, Head of Pediatric Infection Control at UH Rainbow Babys and Children’s Hospital, said almost all hospitalizations were unvaccinated.

Dr. Hoyen recommends that everyone, including eligible children, be vaccinated.

According to Hoyen, children are at risk of being infected with COVID-19 and causing side effects from the virus.

“Unlike other surges in the past, this time the children’s hospital was heavily affected,” she said. “We have come to the point where our bed is very tight.”

Physicians have seen an increased incidence of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C. This is an inflammatory response to a virus that does not turn off the child’s immune system after infection.

Other side effects of COVID-19 in children include myocarditis, or myocardial inflammation, and long COVIDs that can include prolonged coughing and brain fog.

“(That’s) another reason parents and those who care for their children vaccinate their children,” Hoyen said.

Currently, children over the age of 12 can be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. The US Food and Drug Administration will soon grant an emergency use authorization for children ages 5-11 to vaccinate.

According to Hoyen, children should be vaccinated as soon as they qualify.

New antiviral oral tablets available for the treatment of severe COVID-19 cases

Dr. Daniel Simon, Chief Scientific Officer at the University Hospital, said:

“We now have the Tamiflu equivalent of COVID-19,” he said.

Merck’s antiviral oral pil-morunupiravir reduced severe infections by 50%, Simon said.

During the clinical trial, he said, there were no deaths in the molnupiravir-treated group and eight in the placebo-treated group.

The drug is “another toolbox tool for COVID-19,” Simon said.

An FDA approval for an emergency use authorization is required, and once approved, the federal government will distribute approximately 1.5 million doses to the state. The state then distributes the pills to hospitals and doctors, who administer the drug to COVID-19 patients. He said the company plans to administer more than 10 million doses by the end of the year.

Labor shortages are causing problems in hospitals across the country

Hospitals in northeastern Ohio, like hospitals across the country, deal with staff shortages, according to Dr. Simon.

He said many health care workers left due to burnout after the hospital was full for more than 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Healthcare workers are tired and frustrated,” said Dr. Simon.

In addition to burnout, some workers face childcare problems where they cannot find childcare during the shift or it makes financial sense to stay at home.

About 18 percent and more than 15 percent of nursing workers across the country are considering leaving the health care industry, he said.

Despite the shortage, both UH and the clinic said they were able to continue to serve.

Dr. Hassan Kuri, Dean of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, said:

He said the hospital system provides meditation and counseling to staff who are stressed by pandemics and staff shortages.

Currently, there are no vaccination obligations for UH or Cleveland employees. Hospital officials said they were waiting for guidance from the US Department of Health and Human Resources and would follow federal guidelines.

Over 80% of staff are vaccinated at both hospitals. Metro Health Vaccine obligation It is prepared for employees.

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