Health

Hospitalization rate for babies with COVID as bad as for elderly amid Omicron wave, study shows

Hospitalization rate for babies with COVID as bad as for elderly amid Omicron wave, study shows

Nurse Kaitlyn Read checks IV pumps treating a patient with COVID-19 at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Infants under 6 months had the same hospitalization rate as seniors 65 to 74 this summer omicron wave, according to a new report.

The findings, published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show that COVID-19 can still cause severe and fatal outcomes in children too young for vaccination.

“These findings highlight the continued risk of hospitalization for children associated with COVID-19 [younger than] six months who do not meet the requirements for vaccination,” the report states.

“Multiple factors likely contributed to the high rates of hospitalization associated with COVID-19 among young infants during Omicron Variant – Prevailing Period,” explained the authors, “including the high infectivity and community transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant and the relatively low threshold for hospitalization of infants for signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (eg, fever) compared to older children.” “

The rate of hospitalization due to COVID-19 for the youngest infants was similar to that of the younger elderly during the summer surge.

The hospitalization rate for infants younger than 6 months of age with COVID-19 was similar to that of those aged 65 to 74 years during the Omicron summer surge. (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

During the first Omicron wave that spread last fall and winter, Hospitalization rate of COVID-19 it increased for both the youngest infants and the younger elders, eventually reaching about the same rate. Then, during the summer variant surge, the hospitalization rate for both groups rose again, also reaching about the same rate.

In previous increases, the youngest babies were hospitalized at rates significantly lower than those among older adults aged 65 to 74.

The rate of hospitalization due to COVID-19 for the youngest infants during the summer Omicron wave was significantly higher than the peak of the previous summer, which was dominated by Delta variant.

The findings may come as a surprise, especially given the conventional wisdom that younger children and infants are far less likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 than older groups.

But the data shows that the groups hardest hit by the virus can change with the rise and fall new variants of the coronavirus.

The CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women be vaccinated “to facilitate passive transfer of antibodies to these very young infants,” said Dr. Krysia Lindan, UC San Francisco professor of epidemiology and biostatistics. recent campus town hall.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.



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