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The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - Printable Version

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The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - C C - Jan 14, 2022

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-59960949

EXCERPTS: Even as the Omicron variant sweeps around the world, public health officials have noted that, in most cases, the number of Covid patients in hospitals remains significantly lower than during previous pandemic surges.

That's not the case in the US, however, where the number of patients with the coronavirus currently in hospital has reached record numbers.

According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, 145,982 people were in hospital with the virus on 11 January, surpassing a previous record set in January 2021.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden was expected to announce plans to deploy military medical personnel to help in six of the states hardest hit by the influx of patients.

Similarly, hospitals in large parts of neighbouring Canada have also seen surges, with Quebec reporting a pandemic high last weekend.

So what is going on, and why might North America's experience be different to South Africa and Europe so far?

[...] Experts point to several reasons why the rate of Covid patients in hospital is higher in North America than in most other parts of the world.

Professor David Larsen, an epidemiologist and global health expert at Syracuse University in New York, told the BBC that the US population is markedly different from that of both Europe and South Africa. "We have an older population than South Africa. That's a big one," he said. "[The US] is kind of similar in age structure to Europe. But there's also a less healthy population than in Europe."

As examples, Dr Larsen noted that rates of hypertension and obesity - both of which are comorbidities that increase the risk of Covid - are higher in the US than in most other countries.

[...] Dr Mark Cameron, an associate professor in the department of population and quantitative health sciences at Case Western University in Ohio, told the BBC that he believes the US is suffering from "a perfect storm" of Covid-19, comorbidities, uneven access to healthcare and hostility to vaccines, masks, and other preventative measures.

[...] Just over 63% of the US population is fully vaccinated, much lower than in the UK (71%) as well as Italy and France (both 75%). In Canada, almost 79% of the population is fully protected.

Dr Donald Vinh, an infectious disease specialist at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, said that in Quebec - and other places across Canada - as many as half of all new hospital admissions are among the "inadequately vaccinated". [...] Like the US, Dr Vinh said that he believes Canada is plagued by an "incongruent" public health policy when it comes to Covid-19.

[...] Doctors also warn that the high level of hospital admissions in the US and Canada may be due to the Delta variant being more prevalent in many areas.

[...] In many countries, researchers believe that the Omicron variant has begun to subside, possibly signalling the end of the increase in hospital patients with Covid. ... In the short-term, however, experts believe that hospitals will continue feeling the strain of elevated patient numbers in both the US and Canada, even as they fall in other countries... (MORE - details)


RE: The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - Syne - Jan 14, 2022

As even Fauci has finally admitted, people admitted for other reasons and then testing positive "with COVID" are not being distinguished from those hospitalized "due to COVID." US hospitals have financial incentive to list admissions as COVID-related. And compared to UK and Canada single-payer healthcare systems, the US private healthcare system doesn't ration care...which could include sending positive cases home rather than admitting them. And yes, the US is fatter. But since many countries has shown an equal or higher number of vaccinated infections, vaccinations rates have nothing to do with it.


RE: The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - confused2 - Jan 18, 2022

(Jan 14, 2022 05:07 PM)Syne Wrote: .. vaccinations rates have nothing to do with it.

Perhaps you could show where you are getting your data from - not the US CDC it would seem.

Hospitalisations (CDC):

In November, compared to fully vaccinated persons in each group shown below, the monthly rates of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations were:

13X Higher in Unvaccinated Adults Ages 18 Years and Older
10x Higher in Unvaccinated Adolescents​ Ages 12–17 Years
17x Higher in Unvaccinated Adults​ Ages 18–49 years
16x Higher in Unvaccinated Adults​ Ages 50-64 years
12x Higher in Unvaccinated Adults​ Ages 65 Years and Older

^^ https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#covidnet-hospitalizations-vaccination

Cases (CDC again):
Latest figures I can find (CDC) for October 2021 say unvaccinated people have 10x risk of testing positive and 20x risk of dying compared to a fully vaccinated person with additional or booster doses.

^^ https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#rates-by-vaccine-status


RE: The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - Syne - Jan 19, 2022

(Jan 18, 2022 11:23 PM)confused2 Wrote:
(Jan 14, 2022 05:07 PM)Syne Wrote: .. vaccinations rates have nothing to do with it.

Perhaps you could show where you are getting your data from - not the US CDC it would seem.

Hospitalisations (CDC):

In November, compared to fully vaccinated persons in each group shown below, the monthly rates of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations were:

13X Higher in Unvaccinated Adults Ages 18 Years and Older
10x Higher in Unvaccinated Adolescents Ages 12–17 Years
17x Higher in Unvaccinated Adults Ages 18–49 years
16x Higher in Unvaccinated Adults Ages 50-64 years
12x Higher in Unvaccinated Adults Ages 65 Years and Older

^^ https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#covidnet-hospitalizations-vaccination

Cases (CDC again):
Latest figures I can find (CDC) for October 2021 say unvaccinated people have 10x risk of testing positive and 20x risk of dying compared to a fully vaccinated person with additional or booster doses.

^^ https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#rates-by-vaccine-status

Why are you citing November, much less October, data? Omicron (what I was talking about) didn't become the dominant variant until late December in the US.

And why are you citing the CDC, when I clearly said "many countries have shown an equal or higher number of vaccinated infections." Granted, I meant to say "vaccinated hospitalizations."

Nearly 60% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Israel fully vaccinated, data shows

Up to 40% of Omicron hospital admissions are in UNVACCINATED adults, officials finally reveal after data transparency row (but they STILL won't say how many have had a booster)

If 40% of hospitalization are unvaccinated, that means 60% have at least one vaccine dose...which matches Israeli data.

And even on vaccinated infection rates:

Statistics from the U.K. show that among people who tested positive for COVID-19, people who are fully vaccinated and boosted had a greater chance than the unvaccinated of testing positive for the omicron strain of the virus.
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/jan/04/facebook-posts/omicron-risk-claim-vaccinated-missing-key-context/




RE: The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - confused2 - Jan 19, 2022

"If 40% of hospitalization are unvaccinated, that means 60% have at least one vaccine dose...which matches Israeli data."

In the UK only 9% of the population are unvaccinated so 40% drawn from 9% are hospitalised. Maybe you can already see the proportion of unvaccinated in hospital is going to be higher than the the proportion of vaccinated - kind of percentage 101. This does come back to (another thread) the way people reach conclusions is a consequence of their intelligence and education (and other factors). If you would like me to help you with the arithmetic I would be happy to.


RE: The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - Syne - Jan 19, 2022

(Jan 19, 2022 02:10 AM)confused2 Wrote: "If 40% of hospitalization are unvaccinated, that means 60% have at least one vaccine dose...which matches Israeli data."

In the UK only 9% of the population are unvaccinated so 40% drawn from 9% are hospitalised. Maybe you can already see the proportion of unvaccinated in hospital is going to be higher than the the proportion of vaccinated - kind of percentage 101. This does come back to (another thread) the way people reach conclusions is a consequence of their intelligence and education (and other factors). If you would like me to help you with the arithmetic I would be happy to.

Maybe you should bother to read what you're supposedly addressing:

Twenty-six per cent were unvaccinated, according to the agency's nationwide analysis. But the UKHSA revealed the figure was as high as 40 per cent in Omicron-hotspot London, which it had the most 'robust' data for.

And then there's this:
Third of people in London have not had any jabs

Not a significant difference between 40% and 33%, especially considering that those who don't want the vaccine are also more likely to socialize in ways that make them more susceptible. Behaviors easily account for the discrepancy there.

So you are trying to compare 9% unvaccinated nationally against 40% unvaccinated hospitalizations in London is just intellectually dishonest or lazy. But even being generous and comparing the 9% unvaccinated nationally and the 26% unvaccinated hospitalizations nationally, you'd still be failing to account for difference in behaviors, where those scared enough to be vaccinate also likely social distance, mask, etc..

Playing games with math without taking into account all the factors in reality is foolish. Now, if you can show how the only difference between the vaxxed and unvaxxed is just that, with no difference in behaviors, then you might have a point. But we all know that choice isn't isolated from general behavior. Try not to be so naive.


RE: The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - confused2 - Jan 19, 2022

Compare

(both from https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/jan/04/facebook-posts/omicron-risk-claim-vaccinated-missing-key-context/ )

Quote:The UK Health Security Agency said studies using data through Dec. 29 show there is a roughly 50% lower risk of hospitalization for those infected with the omicron variant, compared with the delta variant.

People who are fully vaccinated and boosted who get the omicron variant are 81% less likely to be admitted to a hospital than those who are unvaccinated, the agency said. The studies also show the vaccines have waning effectiveness over time in preventing an omicron infection.

and

Quote:[from facebook] It feels amazing to know I’m 4.5 times LESS LIKELY to catch #Omicron than a boosted Fauci-ite. Can’t wait to see how the media spins this information. It is preliminary but seems like there’s an inverse relationship between number of vaccinations and chances of infection.



RE: The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - Syne - Jan 19, 2022

Since when does Fauci have a lot of sway in the UK? Don't you have your own health experts? That's trying to compare UK to US data. We've already demonstrated that the US demographics are significantly different. And fact checking random Facebook posts? Really?

Notice how C2 complete avoids anything about what I actually posted. Telling.


RE: The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - confused2 - Jan 19, 2022

Syne Wrote:And fact checking random Facebook posts? Really?
Actually fact checking a random Scivillage post.
Syne Wrote:Notice how C2 complete avoids anything about what I actually posted. Telling.
Rather than attempt to give answers that I don't have I posted the UK Health Security Agency analysis of data available to them as of 29th December 2021.
"People who are fully vaccinated and boosted who get the omicron variant are 81% less likely to be admitted to a hospital than those who are unvaccinated, the agency said. The studies also show the vaccines have waning effectiveness over time in preventing an omicron infection." I appreciate this addresses Syne's claim "..vaccinations rates have nothing to do with it." and not (directly) the OP but there it is.

I have no reason to believe the answer isn't in the OP-
Quote:Dr Mark Cameron, an associate professor in the department of population and quantitative health sciences at Case Western University in Ohio, told the BBC that he believes the US is suffering from "a perfect storm" of Covid-19, comorbidities, uneven access to healthcare and hostility to vaccines, masks, and other preventative measures.



RE: The puzzle of North America's record Covid hospital rate - Syne - Jan 20, 2022

(Jan 19, 2022 05:36 PM)confused2 Wrote:
Syne Wrote:And fact checking random Facebook posts? Really?
Actually fact checking a random Scivillage post.
Now you're just lying.

Quote:
Syne Wrote:Notice how C2 complete avoids anything about what I actually posted. Telling.
Rather than attempt to give answers that I don't have I posted the UK Health Security Agency analysis of data available to them as of 29th December 2021.
"People who are fully vaccinated and boosted who get the omicron variant are 81% less likely to be admitted to a hospital than those who are unvaccinated, the agency said. The studies also show the vaccines have waning effectiveness over time in preventing an omicron infection." I appreciate this addresses Syne's claim "..vaccinations rates have nothing to do with it." and not (directly) the OP but there it is.
Again, when 33% of Londoners are unvaccinated and 40% of London's COV hospitalizations are unvaccinated, that tiny difference speaks to behavior more than vaccination rate. Saying the boosted are 81% less likely to be hospitalized is meaningless without taking behavior into account.

Quote:I have no reason to believe the answer isn't in the OP-
Quote:Dr Mark Cameron, an associate professor in the department of population and quantitative health sciences at Case Western University in Ohio, told the BBC that he believes the US is suffering from "a perfect storm" of Covid-19, comorbidities, uneven access to healthcare and hostility to vaccines, masks, and other preventative measures.
See, even this doctor acknowledges that general health, like obesity, and behaviors, like masking and social distancing, have an impact. He just doesn't say how big an impact. But the London stats clearly show the small different between unvaxxed and unvaxxed hospitalization can only be accounted for by a difference in behaviors. Otherwise, we'd expect the unvaxxed hospitalizations to vastly outweigh the unvaxxed percentage.