Experts Warn About Surge In COVID-19 Cases

Some parts of the country are feeling it worse than others. 
Posted at 9:05 PM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 04:09:03-05

The American Academy of Pediatrics came out with new data showing cases of COVID-19 increased about 32% this week from two weeks ago.  Some parts of the country are feeling it worse than others.  

Michigan now leads the country in daily new COVID-19 cases per capita and in hospitalizations.  

"I think the word 'alarming' is appropriate," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "We're going into the holidays and I am worried that our COVID numbers will continue to grow."

Data shows the state is now in its worst surge yet, with caseloads doubling since the start of November.  

"We're on a really sharp uphill slope right now," Beaumont Health System's Dr. Justin Skrzynski said.

And there are similar trends across the country.  

"The surge is predominantly occurring in people who are not yet vaccinated," Yale researcher Dr. F. Perry Wilson said. "So while breakthrough infections do occur, and we know that there's some waning of immunity over time from vaccination, those infections tend to be relatively mild, where we're seeing our hospitalizations and deaths unfortunately, remains and people who aren't vaccinated yet, and concerningly, a big chunk of this uptick is in children."

As of Friday, 50 children are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Michigan, which is a 54% increase since Nov. 3. 

Nationwide, COVID-19 in kids made up more than 25% of the reported weekly cases last week.  

"The more cases there are, the more of those rare events like deaths and kids due to COVID are going to happen," Wilson said.

The Delta variant now makes up about 99% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., taking a toll not only on kids, but also pregnant women.  

Two new studies show pregnant women who get the Delta strain are at a higher risk of stillbirth or even death in childbirth.  

"Although pregnant women tend to be young, and many pregnant women are young and healthy, they don't enjoy the benefits of being young and healthy during pregnancy in the face of COVID-19, which is why vaccination is so important for pregnant people." Wilson said. "You do not want to become infected with COVID-19 when you're pregnant. It's not good for you and it's not good for your baby."

Researchers studied more than 1.2 million pregnancies in the U.S. between March of 2020 and September of 2021. Prior to the pandemic, stillbirths happened 0.59% of the time. The rate rose to 0.98% in pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19 and jumped to 2.7% once the Delta variant became the dominant strain.