COVID-19: 2020 ends with record number of hospitalizations in the US

COVID-19: 2020 ends with record number of hospitalizations in the US

The latest on COVID-19


On Monday, December 28, 121,000 hospitalizations for COVID-19 were registered, a new record at the end of 2020.

The previous number includes 22,592 in intensive therapies, which has put these units to work at 40% of their capacity, compared with 16% in September.

Some states have had more dramatic numbers. On the same Monday, Texas reported 11,351 hospitalizations for COVID, beating the record of 10,893 on July 22.

As of December 29, the United States has 19,055,869 COVID-19 cases, with 332,246 deaths.


A new strain of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, which would be much more contagious, has put the UK in a fierce quarantine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson decreed new closures and isolations when this mutation of the coronavirus was detected, which, in addition, would spread much faster.

Experts explain that it is very common for a virus to mutate, but precautions must be taken. Several European countries have already canceled their flights to the United Kingdom to prevent the spread, while health authorities in the United States expect this new strain to appear at any time on this side of the ocean.

The good news is that scientists say that vaccines already in use would also be effective against this new mutation.

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The vaccine against COVID-19 from the Pfizer laboratory and the one from the Moderna laboratory has already begun to be applied in the first case, and to distribute in the second in the United States.

The federal government will oversee a centralized system to order, distribute and track COVID-19 vaccines. All vaccines will be ordered through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Operation Warp Speed ​​is a partnership between components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense to help develop, manufacture and distribute millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible while ensuring that the vaccines are safe and work.

Millions of doses of vaccines were already packed and ready to hit the road. The final green light was given by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when it issued an emergency use authorization for the vaccine on Friday, December 11.

While it is known that the first to receive it are health workers and the elderly in assisted living facilities, states will have to analyze who is next on the list.

Vaccine and allergy: what to expect

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that people who have experienced severe reactions to previous vaccines or injectable medications can still receive the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19, but should discuss the risks with their doctors and be monitored during 30 minutes later.

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During a webinar with doctors, CDC officials said patients with a history of severe reactions should take precautions due to two documented cases of anaphylaxis in British health workers who received the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.

If people had a previous allergic reaction, they should talk to their doctor to see if it was really caused by an injectable drug and if it was a serious reaction. The specific reaction providers are trying to avoid is anaphylaxis which can cause symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, wheezing, and a rapid heart rate.

Serious allergic reactions to vaccines are extremely rare and were also rare during the Pfizer / BioNTech trial, which excluded people with a history of anaphylaxis. The FDA has published data indicating that 0.63% of the participants who received the vaccine experienced serious adverse reactions, compared with 0.51% of the people who received a placebo.

In Latin America

The International Labor Organization, a United Nations body, said that due to the pandemic, the region has lost 34 million jobs. This consequence of the public health crisis has deepened the already endemic economic crisis in the region, and increased the poverty gap.

Latin America lost 20% of working hours, compared to 11% in the rest of the world.

Johns Hopkins University created a near real-time case map that you can also view and follow here:

What are coronaviruses

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a broad family of viruses that can cause a variety of conditions, from the common cold to more serious illnesses, such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the one that causes respiratory syndrome. severe acute (SARS-CoV). A new coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been found before in humans.

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How do you get coronavirus?

Coronaviruses can be transmitted from animals to people (called zoonotic transmission). Studies have shown that SARS-CoV was transmitted from the civet to humans and that transmission of MERS-CoV from dromedary to humans has occurred. In addition, it is known that there are other coronaviruses circulating among animals, which have not yet infected humans.

Characteristic symptoms

These infections often cause fever and respiratory symptoms (cough and dyspnea or shortness of breath). In the most severe cases, they can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

Also headache and loss of taste and smell.

How to prevent contagion

The usual recommendations to avoid spreading the infection are to wash your hands frequently and to cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing (with your arm, not your hand). Masks should be used, especially indoors.

Close contact with anyone with signs of a respiratory condition, such as coughing or sneezing, should also be avoided. Comply with 6-foot (two-meter) social distancing and stay home if symptoms appear.

Sources: WHO, CDC, Johns Hopkins.

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