Washington, Aug 10 (IANS) Covid infections are rising in the US, even requiring hospitalisation, amid soaring infections from the Delta variant of Covid-19 and lagging vaccination rates, media reports said.The American Academy of Pediatrics, in its latest update, said there were nearly 94,000 cases of Covid among kids in the last week, or about 15 per cent of weekly total cases. Kids made up between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent of total hospitalisations, it noted."It is scary, especially for kids who don't fully understand what's going on. They're air hungry, struggling for breath, and it's just scary," Dr Kelechi Iheagwara, medical director of the paediatric intensive care unit at the Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was quoted as saying by the NBC News."You have the illness, the fear, they can't breathe, they're isolated - that's hard for anyone to understand, but can you imagine what it's like for a kid?" Iheagwara added.Further, Covid infections in kids is coupled with a rise in cases of a respiratory virus known as respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, a highly contagious, flu-like illness, that is typically more likely to affect children and older adults. That has shrunk the bed space further in children's hospitals and expanded on the unrelenting demand on doctors and nurses, the report said.At least 81 children in the US died of Covid between March and July, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many doctors warn that the situation is likely to get worse.Children get infected because a member of their household, often a parent, brings the coronavirus home. Oftentimes, it is because an adult in the home is unvaccinated, Iheagwara said.Health officials are concerned as many schools across the country are set to open, increasing the risk of children being infected. Covid infections in children have been majorly seen in Arkansas, Missouri, Houston, and Louisiana."Children in Louisiana have died of Covid and more unfortunately will die," Dr. John Vanchiere, a paediatric infectious disease specialist. "This is not a time for politics, for fighting or threatening lawsuits about masks. Masks save lives," he addedMeanwhile, US President Joe Biden expects the Food and Drug Administration to soon grant full approval for vaccinating kids under 12.Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are conducting clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in children under 12. Results of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 could be expected in September.Data for 2-to-5-year-olds could arrive soon after. For the youngest children, Pfizer said it could potentially get data in October or November, and shortly thereafter ask the FDA to authorise emergency use.--IANSrvt/vd
<br>Doctors are raising the alarm. "I will say what I'm hearing from my pediatrician colleagues and particularly in areas where infection rates are high is that they are seeing very sick kids," Lee Savio Beers, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in public comments Friday.The new infections among children were recorded in seven days leading up to July 29, up from 39,000 the week prior, according to a study out from the American Academy of Pediatrics.The troubling data are coming in as US schools are readying to open their doors for the Fall term. There's no Covid-19 vaccine yet for kids below 12 years, mask mandates are a patchwork of 50 states' political calculus, and the Delta variant is surging among the unvaccinated.The US is now averaging over 109,000 new daily cases. That's the highest it's been since February this year. These numbers are coming on top of robust vaccination numbers: At least 70 per cent of those above 18 have got at least one dose; 60 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated. But nothing has changed for the under-12 cohort. There's no shot for them yet. Pfizer's senior vice president of vaccine development said in a video interview today that the company is likely to file for an emergency use authorization for the under-12s only by October.Until then, masks are the only armour for students under 12 years. Public policy remains complicated. California, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington state either plan to or have already announced that they would require universal masking on campus for students and teachers regardless of vaccination status. But there are nearly a dozen states that have gone in the other extreme direction and banned masks requirements in public schools."What are the harmful effects of putting a kindergartener in a mask for seven hours? Have they talked about the emotional, the academic, the physiological? Why isn't CDC studying that?" asks Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, clashing routinely with White House guidance.For a full year ending January 2021, CDC data showed children 15 and under had the lowest infection rates. That has changed now. School-age children between the ages of 5-11 and 12-15 have infection rates higher than adults 50 and older."We failed our kids all along. We're failing our kids all over again," emergency physician Leana Wen told Deadline White House.--IANS<br>nikhila/int/pgh
<br>The 21 members of his joint family comprising four generations, however, overcame the ordeal with love, care and timely medical intervention.Hailing from Mandavgan Farata village in Shirur taluka, 100 km from Pune city, Ashok tested positive on April 21. As the remaining members of his family include four people aged over 65, the village panchayat decided to conduct a Covid test on all of them. Following Ashok, 20 members of the family tested positive, with just three spared from the infection. The youngest patient included a one-and-a-half-year-old boy and the oldest, a 75-year-old man. Ashok, who is a member of the gram panchayat of Mandavgan Farata, said his family is big as his father, his uncle and their families all live together. The 24 members include eight women, seven men, and nine children.As a melon-farmer, he was the only member of the family who used to step out of the house during the pandemic in order to sell the family's farm produce. He said he would quarantine himself in a separate room to keep the rest of the family safe from the infection.The 53-year-old used to visit the market yard in Pune and came in contact with adatdars (brokers), other farmers, vendors, as well as customers. "During the week (before I was tested), I had fever and body pain, but I ignored it as I thought it may be because of exhaustion. "When the pain increased, I visited a family doctor, who suggested a Covid test. On April 21, my report came positive. As I was serious, my doctor suggested I get admitted to a private hospital," he said.Ashok's diagnosis left the entire family worried. That is when the gram panchayat decided to test everyone. Of the 20 other family members who tested positive, 15 had mild symptoms and five were admitted to the Covid-19 centre in Mandavgan Farata.Ashok, on coming to know that nearly all of his family had been infected, was overwhelmed with guilt. "I felt I would be the only one responsible if any of them succumbed to the virus. I could not have forgiven myself if anything had happened to them," he said.All the household and family responsibilities then fell on the three who were not infected -- Pooja Suraj Jagtap, Adika Santosh Jagtap and Akash Bapusaheb Jagtap. Pooja and Adika were busy in the kitchen most of the time, cooking immunity-boosting food for the patients. Akash would deliver the food to the Covid centre and hospital.When he would get time, Akash would go to the fields, but he could not finish many of the tasks as the farmworkers hired by the family refused to come to work out of fear of catching the virus.Ashok's son, Suraj Subhash Jagtap, 27, said that his wife, Pooja, and brother's wife, Adika, looked after the whole family. "My one-year-old son Aditya lived with us, and without his mom, for more than 10 days. We were all scared at first, as negative news was pouring in from outside. But our grandfather and grandmother motivated us, they never showed any kind of anxiety. All the time, they would talk to us and tell us that nothing would happen. Their positive words inspired all of us," he said.Kantabai Rohidas Jagtap, 70, Ashok's mother, said they were scared, but did not show it. "Everyone started to take care of each other. Daughters, sons-in-law, nephews, and other relatives also helped us. With the love and support of each other and our relatives, we got through the hard times. I have seen humanity in this critical situation. Now, senior members of the family will take the vaccine and others will too," she adds.Ashok's uncle, Subhash Mahadev Jagtap, 70, said the family's farm suffered losses as workers stayed away from their farm and Akash could not harvest the melons or water the crops alone. "It is a big loss to the family, but at least all of us are together," he said.Manoj Bhosale, a doctor at the Varad Vinayak Hospital, Mandavgan Farata, said it is important for patients to stay optimistic. "A doctor tries to save every patient, but patients should also believe in themselves. This is the thing I saw in the Jagtap family. "As a farming family, they had strong immunity. But also, no one in the family panicked in this critical situation. They took care of each other. This is when I saw the benefit of a joint family. Their love for each other makes them strong. Now I always give the example of the Jagtap family to every patient," he said.Looking at the prediction of a third wave in India, Ashok said the virus is bound to infect everyone eventually. "The key is not to delay treatment, be optimistic and love each other. Also, get vaccinated. We are getting the jab too."(The author is a Pune-based freelance journalist and a member of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.)--IANS<br>dhumal/in
Bengaluru, July 2 (IANS) Karnataka would build a memorial in Bengaluru for doctors who died due to Covid-19 during the pandemic, state Health Minister K. Sudhakar said on Thursday."The memorial, to be the first in the country, will be built at the Arogya Soudha in the city housing the health department to commemorate the doctors who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty while treating Covid patients in government and private hospitals across the state," said Sudhakar, marking the National Doctors' Day celebrated on July 1 every year.According to the health department, about 700 doctors have died on Covid duty across the southern state since May last year."As frontline warriors in the battle against the virus, several doctors, nurses and paramedics died on Covid duty. They are remembered as martyrs," said Sudhakar, who's a medical doctor by profession."A model will be designed soon for erecting the memorial where people can come and pay their homage to the martyred doctors, just as public pays respect to martyred soldiers at the War Memorial in Delhi," he added.Participating at the Doctors' Day event organised by the Indian Medical Association's (IMA) state chapter, the minister expressed gratitude to the doctors, healthcare workers and frontline warriors for their service and sacrifice in the fight against coronavirus.As part of ramping up the healthcare infrastructure in the state, the health department has recruited about 4,000 doctors in the last six months to treat Covid patients across the state.Condemning the attacks on doctors and medical staff, Sudhakar said that people should not take law into their hands, as health warriors try their best to save patients till their last breath."Legal action will be taken against those assaulting the doctors on duty for the death of Covid patients. The offenders will be jailed for 5-7 years," he said.Recalling the services of visionary doctor late B.C. Roy, whose birth anniversary is celebrated as Doctors' Day, the minister said the former West Bengal Chief Minister's contribution to the medical field was immense, as he inspired the medical fraternity by his ideals.Born on July 1, 1882, Bidhan Chandra Roy was a noted physician, educationist, freedom fighter and statesman, who served as the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1948 until his death on July 1, 1962.--IANSfb/arm
Washington, June 5 (IANS) As the US doubled down on vaccinating adults in March and April, Covid hospitalisation rates teenagers (between 12 and 17 years old) went significantly up and many were seriously sick, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report has showed.Around one-third of kids in this age group who were in the hospital for Covid-19 treatment reached the intensive care unit (ICU)."Among hospitalised adolescents, nearly one third required intensive care unit admission, and 5 per cent required invasive mechanical ventilation; no associated deaths occurred," said the report.Hospitalisation rates from Covid-19 in this age group were around 2.5 to 3 times higher than those from the flu over the last three flu seasons."The findings force us to redouble our motivation to get our adolescents and young adults vaccinated," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.Vaccination is effective in preventing hospitalisation among adults."Similarly, widespread vaccination of adolescents will likely reduce Covid-19-associated hospitalisations, and potential sequelae from Covid-19 in adolescents, including multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a rare but serious complication of Covid-19," the CDC report said."Most Covid-associated hospitalisations occur in adults, but severe disease occurs in all age groups, including adolescents aged 12-17 years," it warned.Nearly 6.4 million teenagers between 12 and 17 in the US have had at least one dose of vaccine.--IANSna/in
<br>From April 19, when the present phase of lockdown was imposed in the national capital by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, till Friday (May 28), as many as 11,590 people lost their lives due to Covid in the city, according to the data released by the Delhi government in its daily health bulletin.As per the Delhi government data, till May 19, Delhi's total Covid related deaths were reported at 12,361. With the addition of 139 deaths reported on Friday, the city's overall death toll presently stands at 23,591.On the day the lockdown was announced, Delhi's daily Covid positivity rate stood at around 27 per cent, which has dropped below 2 per cent now.During this period, as many as 103 doctors have died in Delhi, the highest among all the states and Union Territories (UT). The deceased include Padma Shri awardee doctor K.K. Aggarwal and former Delhi Health Minister A.K. Walia. In this regard, Delhi is followed by Bihar where 96 doctors passed away, while 41 doctors succumbed to Covid-19 in Uttar Pradesh.While announcing the complete lockdown on April 19, Kejriwal had stated, "Delhi's health system over-burdened, but not completely collapsed."On Friday, while announcing phase-wise lifting of the lockdown, Kejriwal said, "There has to be some balance. Every week, based on the suggestions from citizens and experts, we will keep opening up progressively. If the rate of infection increases again, we will put the unlocking on hold. So everyone must maintain caution."Speaking to IANS on the present Covid situation in the national capital, B.L. Sherwal, Medical Director of Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGGSH), one the biggest dedicated Covid centres under the Delhi government, said, "At present, the Covid situation in Delhi is under control as the number of daily cases has declined. But we must keep in mind that lifting the lockdown will show its results in the next two weeks, only after which one can make an assessment."It may be recalled that Sherwal had earlier stated that four months of relaxation after the first wave of the Covid pandemic was one of the main reasons behind the spread of the second wave of the disease in the national capital.When asked if the time is right to lift the lockdown in Delhi, Sherwal said, "If the lockdown is completely lifted and the daily cases surge up to 20 per cent in two weeks, then the situation will remain under control. But if the daily surge in cases crosses 20 per cent, it would mean that we are back to the same stage from where we had started."--IANS<br>pd/arm
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