Three-quarters of children’s hospital beds are already full across the US as youngsters are hit by a tripledemic of viruses blamed on lockdown curbs.
DailyMail.com’s interactive map shows eight states were at more than 90 percent pediatric capacity on December 3, the latest date available, with units in one state completely overwhelmed. Nationwide, 75.3 percent of beds were filled.
Doctors have said this year’s season is ‘worse than any other’ they have faced — with RSV and flu cases at their highest level in more than a decade.
There are also growing concerns about a wave of Strep A infections hitting the US after 15 children in the UK died from the normally benign bacterial bug — which is more common after viral infections such as RSV and flu.
Idaho, Arizona and Rhode Island are the worst hit states in America. Meanwhile, some are already telling people to mask up again — and not for Covid.
Where are children’s ICUs busiest?
- Idaho – 133% occupied
- Alaska – 100% occupied
- Maryland – 100% occupied
- Maine – 100% occupied
- Rhode Island – 94% occupied
- Pennsylvania – 94% occupied
- Utah – 93% occupied
- Texas – 91% occupied
- Massachusetts – 90% occupied
- Nevada – 90% occupied
Where are children’s hospitals busiest?
- Idaho – 160% occupied
- Arizona – 97% occupied
- Rhode Island – 96% occupied
- Nevada – 94% occupied
- Utah – 93% occupied
- Kentucky – 93% occupied
- Minnesota – 92% occupied
- Texas – 90% occupied
- Connecticut – 87% occupied
- Maine – 86% occupied
Official data showed Idaho’s hospitals are already treating more children than they have beds for, being at 160 percent capacity.
Arizona had the second busiest children’s wards overall, with 825 out of 850 occupied (97 percent).
It was followed by Rhode Island with 223 of 232 beds occupied (96 percent), Nevada, 319 of 339 beds (94 percent), and Utah, 421 of 451 beds (93.3 percent).
Rounding out the eight over 90 percent full were Kentucky (92.9 percent), Minnesota (91.7 percent) and Texas (90 percent).
For pediatric ICUs, wards in Maine, Maryland, Alaska and Idaho were all also at capacity.
At the other end of the scale was Vermont, with 22 of 48 beds occupied (45.8 percent), New Hampshire, 32 out of 68 beds (47 percent) and Wyoming, 17 out of 35 beds (49 percent).
Lockdowns, face masks and other Covid curbs robbed children of exposure to ‘good’ germs and the chance to build up immunity against seasonal menaces.
As a result, America’s hospitals are now facing a surge of illnesses among children.
For comparison, in adult inpatient wards, 80 percent of beds were occupied data showed.
New York City orders residents to mask up again over flu outbreak
New York City officials are once again advising residents to mask up to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like Covid – but even the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Dr Ashwin Vasan, commissioner of NYC Health, issued an advisory today urging the use of face coverings in indoor public places. It is not a mandate and will not be enforced by city officials – but some private businesses may choose to follow it.
A media release cites the surge in Covid, RSV and the flu striking the city. The Big Apple is currently recording 3,761 daily Covid infections, a 55 percent increase over the last two weeks. The city confirmed more than 11,000 flu cases during the final week of November.
The move follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent non-Covid respiratory viruses earlier this week.
Rhode Island was the only state with hospitals over 90 percent capacity, however, with 2,046 out of 2,192 beds occupied (93.3 percent).
Washington (89 percent), New Hampshire (88.4 percent), Massachusetts (88 percent) and Georgia (87.3 percent) rounded out the top five states for the busiest hospitals.
At the other end of the scale was Wyoming (45.8 percent), the only state to have less than 50 percent of its ward beds occupied at this time of year.
America’s more than 6,000 hospitals have been reporting occupancy data since 2020 to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
DailyMail.com analyzed the figures from December 3 — the latest available — to work out where children’s hospitals are being hardest hit.
Doctors have been warning that this year’s flu season is one of the worst to date for children’s hospitals.
Children’s hospitals have been facing a surge in admissions this year in the wake of returning respiratory viruses — sidelined for two years by Covid.
A record 32,773 flu infections were recorded in the penultimate week of November, the latest date available, the most for this time of year.
So far this season there have already been 9million cases, estimates suggest — more than in the whole of 2021.
There have also been 7,800 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths, including 14 fatalities from flu among children.
At this time last year 69.5 percent of pediatric beds were occupied — compared to 75 percent today.
Six states had over 90 percent of their pediatric ward occupied at this time: New Jersey, Virginia, Maine, Arizona, Nevada and Minnesoa.
Currently, pediatric wards in the west coast, Texas and mid-western states are feeling the most significant pressure from resurging seasonal illnesses.